The supposed death-bed confessions of Norma McCorvey (aka “Jane Roe”) have caused controversy between pro-choice and pro-life advocates. McCorvey, whom the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which legalized abortions was named after, is the subject of a new documentary AKA Jane Roe. Backstory: she wanted an abortion and the case went to the Supreme Court. Her “side” won. Later, she converted to Christianity/Catholocism and went from being a pro-choice advocate and poster child to a pro-life advocate and poster child. In the recently released interview with the film’s director, she stated that she never believed in the pro-life movement, but rather “took their money, and they put me out in front of the camera and told me what to say and that’s what I’d say.”
The pro-choice side believes the pro-life movement paid and psychologically manipulated McCorvey to be the face of their movement. In an article for NBC, journalist and author Katherine Stewart condemned the movement for acting in an “unethical way toward a needy woman with a long history of disadvantage and adversity.”
Wow: Norma McCorvey (aka “Roe” of Roe v Wade) revealed on her deathbed that she was paid by right-wing operatives to flip her stance on reproductive rights.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 19, 2020
So, like many right-wing operations, it turns out a huge part of the anti-choice movement was a scam the entire time. https://t.co/XBwvPKmSqU
The Right is skeptical of the “claims” and believe her words were manipulated. Dr. Alveda King, a pro-life advocate and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “Shameful fake news would have us believe that Norma McCorvey was a mercenary. Nothing could be further from the truth…from my personal perspective, they interviewed Norma and took her words out of context.” National Director of Priests for Life Frank Pavone agreed with King: “I spoke to her almost every day…we knew her better than any documentary person could.” A Slate staff writer wrote that Pavone told her he “remained close with McCorvey until her death and is confident McCorvey retained her core convictions against abortion.” Pavone pointed out that she was a troubled and complex woman who experienced many ups and downs associated with trauma and often vented to people. He also noted that her supposed “deathbed” interview was actually conducted in the spring of 2016, whereas she did not pass away until February of 2017.