Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday Reads

Obituary: Norma McCorvey, 69, the "Roe" in the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion case in 1973, has died.

Contrary to belief, McCorvey never had an abortion. She was all over the place on the issue over the years, not to mention all over the place with regard to her sexuality.

I pretty much took her with a grain of salt.

Norma McCorvey, who was 22, unwed, mired in addiction and poverty, and desperate for a way out of an unwanted pregnancy when she became Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to an abortion, died Feb. 18 at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Tex. She was 69.

Her death was confirmed by Joshua Prager, a journalist working on a book about Roe v. Wade. The cause was a heart ailment.

Ms. McCorvey was a complicated protagonist in a legal case that became a touchstone in the culture wars, celebrated by champions as an affirmation of women’s freedom and denounced by opponents as the legalization of murder of the unborn.

She was practically a con artist, certainly not the most stable person in the world:

Harsher judgments presented Ms. McCorvey as a user who trolled for attention and cash. Abortion rights activists questioned her motives when Ms. McCorvey decamped in 1995, after years as a poster child for their cause, and was baptized in a swimming pool by the evangelical minister at the helm of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue.

The minister, Flip Benham, told Prager, who profiled Ms. McCorvey in Vanity Fair magazine in 2013, that he had come to see Ms. McCorvey as someone who “just fishes for money.”

By her own description, she was “a simple woman with a ninth-grade education.” She presented herself as the victim of her attorneys, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, whom she accused of exploiting the predicament of her unwanted pregnancy to score a victory for the abortion rights cause.


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