Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in the Roe v Wade case, died Saturday of heart failure at the age of 69. McCorvey's lawsuit led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1973 that legalized abortion in America.
McCorvey, who was given the pseudonym, “Jane Roe” for the case, was unmarried, unemployed and pregnant with her third child in 1969. Her first two children had been adopted by others. She was living in Texas where abortion was illegal, except to save the life of the mother. She tried to obtain an abortion from a doctor who referred her to an adoption agency.
At some point, McCorvey was referred to two attorneys who were looking for pregnant women seeking abortions. They convinced McCorvey to sign an affidavit that allowed them to file the lawsuit. The case took three years to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. McCovey never set foot in any courtroom. During the process she gave birth and the baby was adopted.
In 1994 she converted to Christianity and began working in the pro-life movement. In 1998 she joined the Roman Catholic church.
In 2003 she went to court in an unsuccessful attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.
McCorvey authored two books, I Am Roe in 1994 and Won by Love in 1997.
In I am Roe she discusses the case that established the legality of abortion, recounts the situation that led her to the Supreme Court and discusses her life in the twenty years since the court's controversial decision.
Won by Love is an autobiography, in which she describes her experience as part of the pro-abortion movement and relates how she converted to Christianity and became "100% pro-life."
McCorvey made this short, one-minute video four years ago: