A new pro-abortion documentary has caused a massive uproar with appears to be a false accusation that the pro-life movement paid Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, to pretend to be pro-life.
Now a new text message from someone who knew McCorvey well makes it clear the liberal activist paid McCorvey to appear on camera — and maybe even to lie.
As LifeNews reported, McCorvey worked and volunteered alongside pro-lifers to reverse the infamous ruling that abortion activists manipulated her into participating in. Some pro-life leaders even developed life-long friendships with her.
But now, years after McCorvey’s death, abortion activists are accusing pro-life advocates of using her. The accusations are based on comments McCorvey made in an up-coming documentary film “AKA Jane Roe” by liberal activist Nick Sweeney.
The film features an interview with an elderly and frail McCorvey just before her death. Although the full, unedited version has not been released, the documentary purportedly shows McCorvey making some stunning claims that pro-lifers supposedly paid her to appear pro-life.
But a new text message provided by Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life from McCorvey herself indicates Sweeney paid McCovey to appear in the video. The text raises questions about what Sweeney may have directed her to say, and whether he coached her or specifically her to lie on camera. The text makes it clear that McCorvey, who frequently had money troubles, desperately needed the money from the interview. That financial desire may have compelled her to compromise what was otherwise an unblemished two decades-long time period as a staunch pro-life advocate.
“I’m interviewing with a company out of NY via Australia,” McCovey’s text to Father Pavone reads. “And I’m very happy doing it. I charged of course so I’ll have some bucks at the end, so I’m happy about that.”
Texts timestamped from the next day have McCorvey asking Pavone for information about a Catholic book, as Pavone had led McCorvey to convert to Catholicism and calling abortion advocates “pro aborts.”
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Pavone told LifeNews that the text gels with other texts McCorvey sent him about her financial troubles and he maintains that McCorvey never said anything that was contrary to her longstanding pro-life position.
“Norma and I texted, emailed, called and visited with each other constantly over 22 years’ time,” he said. “She kept me informed of her activities, including the taping of this documentary. On May 24, 2016, at 8:50pm ET, Norma texted me that she was “sitting here broke and extremely upset” by the difficulties she was encountering in making moving arrangements.”
“Then right in the midst of all that frustration, she said she was doing this filming, and the fact that she was going to get paid for it made her happy,” he said.
Pavone said the decades spent with McCorvey made it clear to him what her personality was and wasn’t. He said McCorvey would sometimes joke about not being pro-life if she was having some sort of frustration with other pro-life people but that it didn’t indicate she had strayed from her views.
“We who journeyed with Norma for decades knew her various states of mind, and knew the difference between what was temporary frustration and what represented her core beliefs,” he explained. “In her frustration, she would say things like, “I’m not one of you anymore” – then the next day she’d be laughing and praying with us and apologizing for venting. We knew her, and apparently at least the taping done on this day was when she was in one of her lower states of mind.”
That makes it even more important for FX and Sweeney to release the full documentary in an unedited state — which could provide more context on McCorvey’s controversial comments and make it more clear that the presentation in the liberal media of pro-life people exploiting McCorvey and buying her off is a totally false characterization.
McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, never obtained an abortion. She wanted a divorce from her husband at the time but was exploited by feminist attorneys to push their case to upend Texas’ pro-life laws.
Decades after the Supreme Court invented the right to abortion using her case, McCorvey converted to the pro-life position after spending years supporting abortion and even working a ta local abortion clinic. And for decades more, she supported pro-life efforts and worked closely with pro-life groups.
As she explained in 2012: “I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe vs. Wade decision that brought ‘legal’ child killing to America. I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie. Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave.”
In a video before her death, McCorvey explained her effort to obtain a legal abortion in the 1970s when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, she never had an abortion and realized that her court case was the biggest mistake of her life.
“Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” she says in the ad. “At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion.”
“I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name,” McCorvey says.
She concluded the 60 second ad with the words: “You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”
Whether McCorvey is telling the truth or has been coerced and used by abortion advocates looking to undermine the pro-life movement is a very real question. There’s significant doubt about the veracity of a so-called “deathbed confessional” if only because Norma was consistently pro-life for decades but publicly and privately.
While its clear abortion activists exploited a frail and broken McCorvey with a last-minute interview to further their agenda, what’s also very clear to everyone who personally knew Norma over the years is that she was totally and genuinely pro-life. In private email exchanges to this author over the years prior to her death, she never vacillated from her pro-life views and repeatedly thanked LifeNews for standing up for unborn babies.
Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, also knew Norma personally and attested to the consistency of her pro-life beliefs.
“Norma always spoke with passion about her pro-life convictions, which represented a huge and public shift from how she had been seen for so long,” Hawkins shared with LifeNews. “I believe the woman that I personally knew who lived a painful and complicated life, but spoke directly about how she felt about it.”
Hawkins believes the documentary is little more than an effort to use a damaged elderly woman for political gain.
“And I also don’t believe that Fx is a good actor, when you consider that earlier this year, they went after the iconic Phyllis Schlafly. Tearing down pro-life champions won’t work for those of us who have had the privilege of knowing the real people behind the headlines.”
Cheryl Sullenger, a leader with Operation Rescue and a personal friend of McCorvey’s for years, slammed the report as “fake news.”
“I knew Norma personally and saw her during unguarded moments,” Sullenger told LifeNews.com. “Norma was frank, and if she was in a mood, she could say things that were controversial. But never did she ever show any hint of being anything other than 100-percent pro-life as long as I knew her. This latest attack on her pro-life beliefs is nothing but out-of-context fake news.”
Lauren Muzyka, executive director of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, said she also saw McCorvey living out her pro-life beliefs, without any hint of coercion or personal gain.
“Just before Norma died, I prayed with her on the sidewalk in front of the Southwestern abortion facility in Dallas to close out the 40 Days for Life-Dallas campaign that fall,” Muzyka said. “Norma was good friends with many of my friends in the area, and there was never any question about the fact that she was pro-life. In fact, friends from our pro-life community in Dallas spent significant time with her just before she died.”
In 1998, she told the U.S. Senate that Roe v. Wade was based on a lie:
“My name is Norma McCorvey. I’m sorry to admit that I’m the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. The affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court didn’t happen the way I said it did, pure and simple. I lied! Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey needed an extreme case to make their client look pitiable. Rape seemed to be the ticket. What made rape even worse? A gang rape! It all started out as a little lie, but my little lie grew and became more horrible with each telling.”
She wrote about her conversion in a book “Won By Love” and described how abortion activists used her to advance their agenda. She said her pro-abortion lawyers only met with her twice, once for pizza and beer and a second time to sign an affidavit. McCorvey said she did not even read it.
Before becoming pro-life, McCorvey worked at an abortion facility. She later described the experience:
“Please understand, these were not abnormal, uncaring women working with me at the clinic. We were just involved in a bloody, dehumanizing business, all of us for our own reasons. Whether we were justifying our past advocacy (as I was), justifying a previous abortion (as many were) or whatever, we were just trying to cope–and if we couldn’t laugh at what was going on, I think our minds would have snapped. It’s not an easy thing trying to confuse a conscience that will not stay dead.”
McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation and allowed abortion on demand up to birth.
In 2005, McCorvey petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. The courts, however, denied her petition.