Roe v Wade: Looking at Case After Death of "Jane Roe"

Updated on February 24, 2017

Women Should Decide What They Do With Their Bodies

I may not have ever considered abortion ever in my life, but I wouldn't deny any woman the right to determine what they should or shouldn't do with their bodies.

I'm part of the many who believe that abortion should be a matter of personal choice, if not medical, and if a woman requires an abortion for whatever reason, they have a right to determine whether or not it actually is needed. Abortion should not be used as a means of birth control, but if it comes down to allowing women the choice to have an abortion or denying them that right, they need to be allowed to do what they see fit for their bodies.

With the death of Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, people are now re-examining the rights that Roe v. Wade accorded to women throughout the United States. At the time, most states either severely restricted or altogether banned the practice of abortion except in cases where the mother's life was threatened. It wasn't Texas' most important decision, but it is the most recognizable by a long shot.

Abortion naturally remains a contentious issue, being argued by religions and governments the world over. President Donald Trump, for instance, scored headlines yet again for his decision to sign the global "gag order" - an order that basically blocks US federal funding for non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counselling or referrals, advocate to decriminalize abortion or expand abortion services. It would appear that for every Republican president that signs the gag order, there is a Democratic one that rescinds it.

It was often thought that the Texas law in support of abortion was actually somewhat vague; with Roe v. Wade, it was determined that states could protect "fetal life after viability" even though a fetus is not "a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment."

McCorvey certainly held a significant role in the nation's view of abortion and the rights women have as far as abortion is concerned. It was the third time the young, unmarried woman had gotten pregnant, and while she'd delivered the child and given her up for adoption during the time span of the court case, her push paved the way for many more women to determine just what they could and could not do with their bodies as far as their own abilities to reproduce were concerned.

However, what many may not be aware of is what happened after Roe v. Wade.

Still A Divisive Case


A Rough Upbringing, Bad Choices, Lesbianism And Conversions

McCorvey reportedly had a fairly rough upbringing, which included dysfunctional parents, reform school, and petty crime. At some point, she turned to alcoholism and drug abuse and became involved with a husband who turned abusive, and ultimately became a lesbian.

She ended up ending her relationship with her partner, Connie Gonzales, on her conversion to evangelical Christianity, and later converted once again to Catholicism. Her views regarding abortion had also changed, and at one point, McCorvey became a vocal pro-life supporter, even going so far as to challenge the Roe v. Wade decision she had once been involved in.

McCorvey had actually gotten married at 16, but separated from her husband. She also argued that her mother had tricked her into signing custody away of her firstborn and at one point had screamed, "My mom screamed, 'What did a lesbian know about raising a child?'" according to AP.

McCorvey very definitely did not seem to have an easy life at any point, but whether she appreciated her legacy as one of the defining women in the pro-choice movement remains to be seen. She spent a great deal of time cheerfully supporting the anti-abortion movement in her remaining years, and also formed her own anti-abortion group called Roe No More Ministries. She would often circulate across the United States, speaking to groups against abortion.

She also appeared on the silver screen in 2010's Doonby, a film also starring John Schneider. The film garnered particular notice for its anti-abortion themes.

McCorvey reportedly died as a result of heart failure in Katy, Texas.

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Roe v. Wade: An Explanation


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