Film: ‘Roe’ plaintiff says her anti-abortion switch was act

Norma Mc Corvey

Norma Mc Corvey

In AKA Jane Roe, the FX documentary that takes a deeper look at McCorvey's life, a huge revelation is made in the final 20 minutes of the film: her renunciation of the pro-choice movement was entirely fabricated.

"I knew Norma well, and at one time, she lived with my family in the Wichita, Kansas, area for several months". "I think it was a mutual thing", she explained. "I took their money and they took me out in front of their cameras and told me what to say".

"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", she wrote.

She led the case in the Supreme Court after she fell pregnant in 1970 and was financially unstable. But nearly 15 years later, the woman, once known as Jane Roe, switched sides. She said it was all an act.

"Whenever we were together, Norma was determined to film all the time and whenever I was not there, she would want to know when I was coming back to film", he continued.

The anti-choice activist passed away in 2017, but not before sitting down with filmmakers to tell her whole story.

In the 1990s, however, McCorvey became a fervent opponent of abortion, converting to evangelical Protestantism and later Catholicism.

"When we were helping her cut down on her travels, we, and a number of other pro-life people and groups, knew that she was close to destitute, so we would help her" financially, Father Pavone said.

"To my knowledge, she was not paid by our ministry. And I think knowing she was running out time, it was a motivating factor for her".

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Schenck said the anti-abortion movement had exploited her weaknesses for its own ends and acknowledged she had been paid for her appearances on the movement's behalf. "How much, again, I do not know".

Troy Newman, the president of the new Operation Rescue, denied that McCorvey was on the group's payroll but said she would sometimes receive honorariums of $500-$1,000 for speaking engagements.

"She was never an employee. I never asked her to do anything", Newman told CNN. "She wasn't our spokesperson". She rattles off lines from "Macbeth" and jokes, "I'm a very glamorous person - I can't help it, it's a gift".

"She had a kind of sly wit", says Sweeney, recalling the many hours he spent with her in Katy, going on doughnut runs or sitting in a park, where she'd make him pick magnolia flowers.

"Nobody told Norma what to do", he said.

This was, in the film's telling, not quite high-flying enough a perspective to earn McCorvey a seat at the table among the movement of her time.

The documentary, called AKA Jane Roe, showing on FX, explores McCorvey's tumultuous upbringing that entailed incidents of alleged abuse and neglect. "And they don't. We wanted Norma to - as a society - wanted her to fit with who we want Jane Roe to be".

Schenck himself had a change of heart about the issue of abortion, too.

McCorvey reasserts her supportive place on abortion in the documentary, saying "If a younger girl desires to have an abortion, that's no pores and skin off my ass".

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