Pro-life leaders who remained close to Norma McCorvey at the end of her life said she never stopped believing that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
McCorvey, who died in 2017, was better known as the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, the infamous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows unborn babies to be aborted for any reason up to birth. Later, McCorvey became a pro-life advocate and a Christian.
But now her work in the pro-life movement is being called into question by a new documentary from a left-wing filmmaker. In a supposed “deathbed confession,” McCorvey allegedly told the filmmaker that pro-lifers had used her as a “trophy,” and she had faked her conversion for money.
Janet Morana, of Priests for Life, does not believe it.
Morana told LifeNews.com that she and Father Frank Pavone spoke with McCorvey on the day she died and she encouraged them to carry on their work to end abortion.
“Father Pavone and I personally knew Norma for many, many years. Father Pavone confirmed her into the Catholic Church,” Morana said. “She stayed at my home in New York and I visited and stayed in her home in Dallas, Texas.”
She said they personally supported McCorvey emotionally and, at times, financially, and they remained friends up until her death.
Morana said McCorvey suffered from COPD and, near the end of her life, she lived in an assisted living home and received hospice care.
On the day of McCorvey’s death, Morana said she and Pavone were on a business trip in Rome and unable to visit her. However, they both spoke to her over the phone right before going to Mass, she said.
“She never switched her position back to being pro-abortion,” Morana remembered. “In fact, she told us to carry on the work of bringing an end to Roe v. Wade. She died while we were at Mass.”
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Morana remembered getting the call from McCorvey’s daughter right after they left the service. The two of them traveled from Rome to Texas to be at her funeral, she said.
Other pro-life leaders who knew McCorvey personally have shared similar memories.
Cheryl Sullenger, a leader with Operation Rescue and a personal friend of McCorvey’s for years, said she was pro-life both publicly and privately.
“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.”
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.