An outstanding book, “L’affaire Jane Roe, histoire d’une manipulation” 1, tells the story of how a women who was, in spite of herself, at the origin of the abortion in USA, became one of the most famous representative of pro-life.
The Roe vs. Wade judgment
At 21 years old, Norma McCorvey, pregnant with its third child, poor and confused, became the complainant, alias Jane Roe, in the case leading to the Roe vs. Wade judgment. Rendered by the Supreme Court on 22nd January 1973, this decision, by declaring as void the current legislation against abortion in the State of Texas, legalised abortion. Abortion is now recognised as a fundamental “right”, induced by the Constitution, and this new constitutional “right” has force of law in all states that, until now, were sovereign on the subject.
Lies and manipulations
Norma McCorvey tells how she was used by the pro-abortion lobby, she who never experienced abortion or even less rape, contrary to what her attorneys asked her to tell, in order to arouse the pity of the judges. “Sarah Weddington [her attorney, editor’s note] let me clearly understand, on many occasions, that I was no more than a name in a judicial action. Only Jane Roe counted for Sarah; the real Norma McCorvey had no interest.”
In an abortion clinic
After the case, Jane Roe became marketing manager of an abortion clinic, in charge of “selling abortions”. Here too, lies are common practice, with regard to patients, about the time limits (the more delayed is the pregnancy, the more expensive is the act) and the reality of abortion. “We assured them they made the good choice and that, of course it was not really a baby; it was just delayed menstruation.” The clinic staff also fools to itself to survive in “a company dehumanising by nature”. They seek refuge in alcohol and drugs which allow them to escape from their acts: “you see cut limbs, you hear women crying. Impossible to carry on fooling to yourself, at least not without artificial stimulation. That is why drugs, alcohol and unsubtle jokes are so current in these clinics. If we remain sober and if we do not laugh at ourselves, we could see us as abominable monsters considering little babies as a prey”.
From death to life
Whereas the cause of abortion is her only reason to live (“I live, eat, breath and think abortion”), the neighbouring installation of what she calls the pro-life “terrorists” marks the beginning of an inner and spiritual adventure which will lead Norma McCorvey to become the representative of the American pro-life movement. Its interview with the daughter of one of the militants of Operation Rescue, who nearly was aborted, deeply moved her. “it was the first time abortion was personalized. I did not think about abortion as a practical mean to treat “the products of conception” or “delayed menstruation”. Instead of that, abortion represented the “legal right” to put an end to the life of a so precious child like Emilie. This beautiful little girl could have been legally killed without any penalty, I thought – and all that was my fault.” Without forgetting all what she did to obtain and preserve the legalisation of abortion, then she commits in the struggle for life.
By changing sides, Norma McCorvey measures the force of the hate. Thus she notes the difference of behaviour of Medias with regard to her: “before when I was Jane Roe, complainant in Roe vs. Wade case, in a way I was the Medias’ favourite.. (…) Now I am “Norma McCorvey, Christian extremist”, the enemy”.
Doe vs. Bolton Judgement
Promulgated on the same day as the Roe vs. Wade judgement, the Doe vs. Bolton judgement, by vaguely defining the health of the woman, levied the rare minor restrictions in Roe. “Overnight, abortion was legalised everywhere, during the nine months of pregnancy – for nearly whatever reason – thanks to Jane Roe and to Mary Doe.” Complainant in the case leading to the Doe vs. Bolton judgement, Sandra Cano has a quite similar path to that of Norma McCorvey: she was also manipulated and never wanted to abort.
On 23rd March 1997, both publicly disclaimed their role in “the tragedy of abortion”. Together, they are fighting to quash the judgements which have their name. “Our manner to make it is to show that life and women rights did not have progressed, or increased, but at the contrary that they were destroyed by the abortion on request. We gather accounts aimed at being brought to court, from women who was wounded by abortion, from women who are convinced that the real feminism is pro-life, and from professionals who know that Roe weakened the moral tissue of the legal and medical world.”
Today, only one change of the test of strength within the Supreme Court will give back to the States, ad minima, the faculty to legislate on abortion. Several states are preparing to challenge this jurisprudence by promulgating laws restricting or prohibiting abortion, in a manner the Supreme Court, seized by individuals or pro-choice associations contesting these laws, may render a decision contrary to that of 1973.
1- Norma McCorvey, L’affaire Jane Roe, histoire d’une manipulation, éd. de l’Homme Nouveau, octobre 2008