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She Took It to Her Grave: Pro-Life Leaders Weigh In on the Passing of 'Jane Roe'

Norma McCorvey
Many leaders of the pro-life movement are remembering Norma McCorvey, who was the plaintiff "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade case, today. (Reuters photo)

Following the passing over the weekend of Norma McCorvey, who was the "Jane Roe" plaintiff in the Roe v. Wade case that set off the abortion holocaust in America in 1973, a number of leaders in the pro-life movement sought to remember her.

McCorvey, while forever tied to abortion in America, never had an abortion herself. And, later in life, she became a born-again Christian. Right after her conversion, she wrote:

"I'm Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade decision that brought legal child killing to America. I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped and needed an abortion. It was all a lie. Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave. Please, don't follow in my mistakes."

The man who led her to Christ, former national director of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America Rev. Flip Benham, said she did not go to the grave with that burden, but instead went to the grave with the salvation of her Lord.

"He took the burden, her debt of sin upon Himself and through His crucifixion and resurrection, redeemed Miss Norma's guilt-ridden soul," he said. "The old Norma died (pre- Roe) and a new Norma emerged (post-Roe).

"The three people most instrumental in ushering us into the era of Roe v. Wade, Dr. Barnard Nathanson (founder of NARAL), Sandra Cano (Jane Doe of Doe v. Bolton), and Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade) are now all in the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we continue to fight for the lives of our Lord's precious preborn babies.

"All three lied or were lied to to give us this damnable law. All three were sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. All three, in their Christian years, did their very best to undo the lies that gave us Roe v. Wade. All three are today more alive than they have ever been. All three have run their lap of the race.

"It is our turn now! Good night for now, Miss Norma—we will see you in the morning!"

Other pro-life leaders shared their feelings, as well. Here's a summary:

  • Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, current National Director of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America—Looking back on how the Lord has used this ministry, we rejoice in the thousands of lives that have been spared, the souls that have been saved, like Miss Norma, and the many death camps that have been shut down. We pray the death of Roe (Miss Norma) prophetically signals the death of Roe vs. Wade. May the destroyer of men made in the image of God be destroyed in Jesus' mighty name!
  • Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue—I am deeply saddened at the loss of our dear friend Norma McCorvey. She spent the better part of the last 25 years working to undo the terrible Supreme Court decision that bears her name," said Newman. "Her work was not in vain. Norma became an inspiration for so many, and we at Operation Rescue work every day to achieve her goal of ending abortion in America.
  • Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue—The first time Norma and I met was at an Operation Rescue event in the early 1990s in California. Norma was with the pro-choice crowd, screaming at me and blowing a whistle in my ear. After her conversion to Christ, we became close personal friends, spending much time together over a 15- year period. She stayed as our guest in our home for nearly a month on one occasion. On other occasions, we traveled around the country for various pro-life events, or just hung out with friends, shooting pool ... She never wavered in her repudiation of Roe vs. Wade and the subsequent death of millions of innocent babies. Make no mistake: she wanted Roe v. Wade overturned, and she wanted it to be a crime under law to kill any unborn baby by abortion. May God have mercy on her soul, and grant her eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Ricardo Davis, president of Georgia Right to Life—Her conversion to Christianity lifted the veil hiding the lie at the heart of Roe v Wade and awakened her to the truth that a pre-born child is in fact a person and deserves constitutional protection. She is proof that God changes hearts and makes people aware that slaughtering innocent children is evil and must be ended.
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List—Norma suffered tremendously at the hands of those who cared more about the institution of abortion than this courageous woman's life. She learned first-hand the falsehood of the lie that "abortion liberates." She found instead that it is an insidious invitation to misery for so many women and death for more than 50 million unborn children since the day of the fateful Roe decision. The early feminists were correct. In the words of one editorial in The Revolution, the mouthpiece of the suffragette movement: "[abortion] will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime." Ironically, and thankfully, Norma McCorvey, like Sandra Cano in the companion case of Doe v. Bolton, did not abort the child whose life was exploited by the lawyers seeking to impose abortion on request. Ultimately, Norma's story after Roe was not one of bitterness but of forgiveness. She chose healing and reconciliation in her Christian faith. She overcame the lies of the abortion industry and its advocates and spoke out against the horror that still oppresses so many. Of Roe, she said, "I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name." In her memory and in her honor, we will carry on that work and we pray for her eternal peace.

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