Who Was the "Roe" of Roe vs. Wade?

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Publication Date: February 01, 1998

We live in a world that has denied personhood to the unborn. We live in a nation where those that proclaim the right to life of the unborn are viewed as "anti-progressive" and "anti-women's rights."

However, the small organization, Roe No More Ministry, with only one full time staff member, strives to counter this anti-life rhetoric. In fact, Roe No More Ministry proclaims the unique and unpopular message of one woman. This woman was the "poster-child for choice" and fought for the legalization of abortion; in fact, she was the plaintiff in the now infamous Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. She is Ms. Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade.

About Miss Norma, Director

Ms. Norma L. McCorvey was born September 22, 1947 in Simmesport, Louisiana. Her life's story does not require dictionary-sized words. The life and conversion of "Miss Norma," as she likes to be called, is a story attributed only to God Himself.

In 1969, two lawyers from Texas, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, were looking to overturn the Texas abortion statute. They approached a pregnant Norma McCorvey. In the end, Norma signed on the dotted line, making her the plaintiff in an abortion suit against the State of Texas. This case would later evolve into the infamous Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion in this country. After over 28 years of guilt-induced drug binges and various jobs in abortion clinics in an attempt to justify her involvement in the legalization of abortion, Norma McCorvey did the unthinkable. As the former "poster-girl" for abortion who, in the words of a friend, "jumped off the poster and into the arms of Christ," Norma truly began to live her life for herself.

In 1995, Norma was baptized and gave her life to God. She literally moved next door from the abortion clinic at which she was working to the national offices of the prominent pro-life organization, Operation Rescue.

Later, feeling a need to share her personal message, Norma founded Roe No More Ministry in 1997 with the mission of exposing the lie that is Roe v. Wade.

Norma's faith journey eventually led her home, as she describes it, to the Roman Catholic Church, into which she was received in 1998.

Miss Norma is now dedicated to reversing what she was a part of some three decades ago.

About The Ministry

Roe No More was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1997.

While Ms. McCorvey is unapologetically Roman Catholic, she prides herself in maintaining an unequivocally non-denominational ministry. Her message, her ministry, and her relationships are not affected by what Christian creed one may profess. Norma is a firm believer in the fact that as Christians, we need to come together and spread the Good News of life ecumenically as opposed to trying to convert each other.

As its mission says, Roe No More is "dedicated to spreading the truth: to know things as they are." Norma now speaks the truth, and this ministry is dedicated to spreading the truth as Norma lived it.

Roe No More Ministry's primary service is through the public speaking of Miss Norma. Since Roe No More's inception in 1997, she has traveled to three countries and over 40 states sharing her story at rallies and with church congregations, civic organizations, politicians, university students, and clergy.

About the Message

Miss Norma founded Roe No More Ministry to share with the world what she knows about "choice." She knows the truth of Roe v. Wade and the lie upon which it all started. Roe v. Wade is not liberation for women, but was a case based on lies and deceit. She has also worked in abortion clinics and knows what really happens behind closed doors. She knows what the women go through.

Central to Miss Norma's message is her unparalleled support of Crisis Pregnancy solutions. She recently commented that "instead of supporting organizations such as Planned Parenthood with taxpayer money, we should support local Crisis Pregnancy Centers who provide women with options other than killing their children…Women need to be fully informed…believe me, I've seen first-hand how inadequate the counseling by abortion providers really is."

In January 1998, Miss Norma testified before a Senate Subcommittee where she shared, "I saw procedure rooms where sanitation and hygiene were after-thoughts. I worked with a doctor that operated on women while he was barefoot…but the most terrible of all, I saw women who were emotionally and physically scarred by their visit to an abortion clinic. They often came asking us if it was a baby, and more often than not, they were lied to and told no."

Later, Congressman Joe Pitts commented about Norma's April 1998 presentation at the Congressional Life Forum, saying "I believe that the power of your personal testimony helped us take another step toward changing hearts and minds for life…you answered their questions with the authority of personal experience."

Norma prides herself in being able to speak with, not to, the younger generation -- the generation who, as Norma describes it, "is in the most need of the truth."

At the University of California - Santa Barbara, Miss Norma spoke in front of a capacity crowd of 525 people at the Isla Vista Theatre. Even more people who were turned away waited outside the theatre in hopes of entering the building if anyone inside left early. A junior political science major commented about Norma's story saying, "Her views have changed as she has become educated about the issue. It's very interesting to see how her life can turn around because of her faith," he said. "Whether or not you agree or disagree with her abortion beliefs," he concluded, "it is important to hear the story from someone that was the face of the movement."

In the end, Norma's message is about love and forgiveness. And perhaps the ministry's greatest success is embodied in those people Norma now encounters, like a woman she recently spoke with after sharing her story at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. The woman approached Miss Norma and said, "Thank you for that; I came extremely angry at you and now I am leaving with a whole new outlook."

Ultimately, what is most unique about Miss Norma and her mission is that she knows something far greater than herself. She knows God. And because of all of this, Jane Roe is, in fact, Roe No More.

Miss Norma's BOOK

In 1998, Miss Norma completed work on the autobiography that exposes the truth about her life in the pro-abortion camp and later, her conversion to Christ. In Won By Love, Miss Norma goes into great detail regarding her work in the abortion industry that ultimately led her to drugs and suicide attempts. The end of Won By Love is not one of defeat - but rather quite the contrary. Norma's words embody Roe No More Ministry's focus of love and forgiveness, since, in reality that is what happened to Miss Norma.

To purchase a copy of Miss Norma's acclaimed book, go to www.priestsforlife.org/store.

A Special Note from Miss Norma

Thank you for your interest in my work and Roe No More Ministry. If we are ever to reverse the killing of our unborn in this nation, it will be through education. I am living proof that knowing the truth can truly set one free.

Our education should be focused on exposing abortion for what it is: the killing of an innocent. So, I invite you to pray for a culture of life in America, as opposed to the ever-popular culture of death. But more importantly, we must live our pro-life convictions. If you know a woman in a crisis pregnancy situation, don't scold her for her pregnancy out of wedlock; rather, welcome her with love. Inform her that she, and the life within her, are valued. If she is in need of counseling have her contact the National Pregnancy Hotline at (800) 848-LOVE. For it is through these types of actions that the Gospel of Life is best proclaimed.

I would invite you to support pro-life organizations such as Roe No More Ministry. It is our type of organization that is here to educate.

Thank you again for your sincere interest in spreading the truth about abortion.

For the Voiceless,

Ms. Norma McCorvey, Director

Former Jane Roe

Roe No More Ministry is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

All Rights Reserved

© 2001 Roe No More Ministry, Inc.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org