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Won by Love / Norma McCorvey

Won by Love / Norma McCorvey


Jun 27, 2011 / By: Michael Spielman
Category: Miscellaneous

Untitled Document

Norma McCorvey is better known as Jane Roe, the plaintiff in the 1973 Supreme Court decision that federally legalized abortion. In 1995, Norma became a Christian, reversed her position on abortion, and walked away from the Dallas abortion clinic where she worked. In 1997, she wrote Won by Love, to tell the story of her dramatic conversion. I read that book last week as I continue to work on a new page in Abort73's Case Against Abortion: Crisis of Conscious.

In many ways, the significance of Norma's story is far more tied to her post-Roe experience in the abortion clinic than it is to the Supreme Court verdict that bears her name. In fact, her role in that decision can almost be reduced to a mere signature. To the activist lawyers representing her, she was little more than a name on paper and wasn't even present in the courtroom during the trial, only learning of the eventual verdict from the newspaper.

Reading Norma's book on the heels of Bernard Nathanson's Aborting America, you can't help but notice the differences between these two icons of the abortion revolution. Dr. Nathanson was well-educated, well-spoken, polished, and credible. By her own admission, Norma McCorvey was none of those things. And because she was so rough around the edges, the abortion lobby did their best to keep her out of the spotlight. Norma says the following about the strained relationship she had with the abortion establishment in the years following Roe:

Sarah (Weddington) had all the time in the world for me before I signed up as her plaintiff; but once she had my signature, I was a blue-collar, rough-talking embarrassment. (21)

My pedigree, apparently, was an embarrassment to the Vassar-degreed lawyers. (17)

As soon as Sarah Weddington had my name on the affidavit, I had served my purpose. She called me back, all right–four months after my child was born. "Sarah," I said. "I had a baby four months ago. Where were you then?' I didn't hear from Sarah again. She had said everything was going to be okay and that she would be there, but she wasn't… Though Sarah had passed herself off as my friend, in reality she used me. (29)

If Sarah Weddington was so interested in abortion, why didn't she tell me where she got hers? Because I was of no use to her unless I was pregnant. She needed a pregnant woman who would sign the affidavit. If she told me how and where to get an abortion, she wouldn't have a plaintiff. And without a plaintiff, somebody else might get their case before the Supreme Court first… Debbie Nathan, a pro-abortion writer, wrote in the Texas Observer (September 25, 1995): "By not effectively informing [Norma] of [where she could get an abortion], the feminists who put together Roe v. Wade turned McCorvey into Choice's sacrificial lamb–a necessary one, perhaps, but a sacrifice even so." (29)

As Sarah Weddington presented my case, she used the fact that I had claimed to have become pregnant through a gang rape. The public had certain misgivings about abortion in the early seventies, but there was much greater acceptance of abortion in cases of rape, so even though I wasn't really raped, I thought saying so would garner greater public support. This means that the abortion case that destroyed every state law protecting the unborn was based on a lie. (231)

In general, the proabortion crowd resented the fact that Norma McCorvey was historically tied to legalized abortion. (45)

I would have been much more useful to them (not to mention famous) if I had died young. As long as I was alive, I was a danger. I might speak out. I could be unpredictable. And I was. (34)

Referring to the "photographs of cut-up fetuses" and "dolls with their arms or head pulled off" that were "routinely thrown" into her yard, Norma speculates:

Sometimes, though, I wondered if the pro-choice group wasn't doing some of this "decorating." They did not exactly relish the thought that I was Jane Roe, and they knew how weak I was. It didn't take a surgeon to recognize the suicide scars on my arms. They knew I was a drunk, a pill taker, a drug abuser, and that one small push might be enough on any given day or in any given hour to encourage me to take my own life. (47)

When I looked at the leaders of the abortion movement, ostensibly working for women's rights while making women like me feel like dirt, I just couldn't take it. (46)

I was surprised at the animosity among all the (national abortion) leaders. As we sat at a table preparing to speak before the Senate panel, these women were throwing daggers at one another every chance they got. (44)

I received more positive mail in two weeks of being a pro-life Christian than I did in two decades of being abortion's poster child. (204)

Norma writes the following in reference to her experience working in multiple abortion clinics:

The "Parts Room," where we kept the aborted babies, was particularly heinous. No one liked to be in there to do their business, much less to clean the place, and since no patients were allowed back there, it was pretty much left to ruin. If a baby didn't make it into a bucket, that was too bad; it was left to lay there. Other babies were stacked like cordwood once every body part had been accounted for. (6)

It's a closely guarded fact that a disproportionate number of abortion doctors are actually from other countries–foreigners who perceive that our lax abortion laws create a tremendous moneymaking opportunity. Because of the politics surrounding abortion and the unparalleled success of the abortion lobby, veterinary clinics have stricter regulations than abortion clinics. (7)

The day-to-day stress inside an abortion clinic is unbelievable. (42)

Most of the women I saw did not arrive at their "decision" after "careful consultation" with a doctor. Many of them could not remember whom they had slept with, or when; they just knew they were pregnant and they wanted the doctor to get rid of it. (42)

There has never been a single instance of a member of Operation Rescue who used violence during a protest; but we spent so much time describing them as violent radicals, we had begun to convince ourselves that they really were dangerous fanatics. (52)

This is a message Norma once left on the Operation Rescue answering machine from the abortion clinic she worked in next door:

"Hey, Flip, we're through killing little baby boys and girls today. We're thinking of having a barbecue with them, but we need a recipe, so how about faxing one over?" We were stoned out of our minds, and, back then, we thought this was great fun. (53)

Abortions are an inherently dehumanizing business. (54)

Arnie (the abortionist) never explained the mechanics of abortion, never went over the risks of abortion, and never discussed the woman's individual situation. Arnie insisted that women did not want counseling… as long as she had the money, any woman could get an abortion at our clinic, provided she was willing to sign a waiver that said she was doing this of her own free will after "consultation with her physician." (55, 56)

Once the patient was settled, we hit her with about 40 percent nitrous oxide. Though I have received no medical training, I routinely performed this function (as well as other medical acts, such as drawing blood). Most abortionist do not want to spend the money to pay a specialist. (56)

At least 80 percent of the women would try to look down at the end of the table, wondering if they could see anything, which is why our doctor always went in with the scalpel first. Once the baby was already cut up, there was nothing but blood and torn-up tissue for the woman to see. (58)

We handed out their prescriptions, assured them that they had "done the right thing" and that "of course it wasn't really a baby; it was just a missed period." (59)

Abortionists routinely jack up the estimate of a baby's age because most women simply won't argue about it–and even fewer would dare to solicit a second, more informed opinion. (61)

For all the millions spent on public relations, the abortion movement has yet to invent rhetoric powerful enough to blind abortion clinic workers from the truth. You see the body parts, you hear the women's cries, and you can't keep lying to yourself–at least not without artificial stimulation. That's why drugs, alcohol, and coarse jokes are so popular inside the clinics. If we had stayed sober and not laughed at ourselves, we would have begun to think of ourselves as hideous monsters preying on little babies. (63)

Though [abortionists] made a very good living, the money was not passed down, believe me. The women at the clinic worked more out of a sense of duty than financial gain. (112)

Most people do not realize how unregulated abortion clinics are. The legal-abortion movement has hidden behind the slogan, "Keep abortion safe and legal," but the truth is, the only thing we fought for was legal abortion, not safe abortion. (121)

To cope with what everyone intuitively knew were inhumane conditions, cocaine became a favorite pastime. At A to Z (where I worked before I took a position with Arnie), drugs became a major tool to keep the peace… We even used drugs with patients… Whenever we called the police, we had to gather the straws and any containers used for drugs, and make sure they were hidden. (122)

Suspicion, pettiness, backbiting, and sometimes open hostility ran rampant at the clinic… (145)

[Arnie] really was a worm of a man. When [his] wife was stricken with breast cancer, he kept her in one room of the house as she lay dying, and at the other end of the house he kept his girlfriend. Yet if he were the one dying, the abortion movement would hail him as a "visionary," a "man of integrity and courage," and a "hero for our time." In the minds of some, abortionists can do no wrong–provided they keep doing abortions. (199)

In the abortion movement, we always assumed that Christians were mean-spirited, judgmental, pleasure-hating radicals… In fact, I found out that we were the ones who were mean-spirited, self-righteous, and judgmental. It was those in the abortion movement who were ruled by hatred and spite. (168)

Much as it would later happen for Abby Johnson, it was the kind, persistent and prayerful influence of Norma's ideological opponent neighbors that eventually pulled her out of the abortion industry. And she wasn't alone:

Over the next several months six other people followed me out of the abortion clinic… It's as if God decided to lift our blinders at the same time… For Connie, it happened when she was assisting in an abortion and, as she puts it, "a baby fell into my hands. I had thought it was just a muscle until then. I almost lost it. It tore my insides out." (211)

Sarah Weddington continues to maintain that Norma was an insignificant, minor player in the legalization of abortion, and her conversion does nothing to compromise the integrity of Roe v. Wade. Whether that is true or not, there is no denying that as a long-time abortion insider, the testimony of Norma McCorvey is extremely damaging to the abortion industry, and it should not be overlooked.

Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. Subscribe to Michael's Substack for his latest articles and recordings. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.

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