Every human life is valuable.
Every human life also is flawed, and pro-life advocates know this when they fight daily to restore the right to life for babies in the womb.
So when news broke Tuesday about a supposed “deathbed confession” from the late Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, about her faking her conversion to pro-life and Christianity, it surprised but did not rock pro-life advocates.
The pro-life movement is all about protecting individuals, but it is not based on the words or actions of any individual. It is based on truth.
There is a lot of skepticism about McCorvey’s so-called confession, which is soon to be released in full in an upcoming documentary “AKA Jane Roe” by liberal activist Nick Sweeney. In a short clip of the film, Sweeney asked the dying McCorvey if the pro-life movement used her “as a trophy.”
“Of course,” she replied. “I was the big fish. I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money, and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say. … I’m a good actress.”
The so-called “confession” contradicts McCorvey’s words and actions for decades. For many years, McCorvey worked and volunteered alongside pro-lifers to reverse the infamous ruling that abortion activists manipulated her into participating in. Some pro-life leaders developed life-long friendships with her.
But even if McCorvey was being honest in that moment so near to her death, it does not change anything. Like every individual in the pro-life movement, she was a flawed person – but no less valuable because of those flaws.
As Josh Brahm, president of the Equal Rights Institute, wrote in an email to pro-lifers this week, “I’m not pro-life because of what McCorvey believed about abortion, regardless of her actual position. I am pro-life for philosophical reasons and scientific facts …”
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Though powerful, emotional conversion stories can make a huge impact on people’s lives, Brahm said they are not the basis of the movement.
National Review writer Alexandra DeSanctis expressed similar thoughts: Whether McCorvey’s comments to the activist filmmaker were sincere or not, they do not change anything about the issue.
DeSanctis said Roe v. Wade still is “politically motivated, anti-constitutional gibberish founded on false testimony,” and aborting an unborn baby is still wrong.
“Regardless of McCorvey, the majority decision in Roe was. Regardless of McCorvey, every abortion ends a human life. No bombshell revelation does anything to alter those facts,” she wrote.
Leaders come and go. They all make mistakes, some big and some small, and no one ever may fully know the truth about McCorvey. But the pro-life movement does not change because facts do not change, truth does not change. And the fact is that every human life begins at conception, and an abortion destroys that life.
A movement based on flawed individuals will never survive, but that is not the pro-life movement. Our movement is based on an unchanging, basic truth. And the truth is that every human life is unique, valuable, flawed — and deserving of basic human rights.