SocraticGadfly: The full story of 'Roe,' Norma Jean McCorvey

May 23, 2020

The full story of 'Roe,' Norma Jean McCorvey

Texas Observer gives its take on the last chapter in the life story of Norma Jean McCorvey — how the "Roe" of "Roe v. Wade" has said she never had a true pro-life conversion but did it for the money, as detailed in "AKA Jane Roe."

Well, I think she did it for two reasons, the second of which she admits through her full story. It was also for the attention. That's even if she didn't want to admit that.

She had it indicated to her, and apparently told to her, she was an unwanted child. She was an adult child of an alcoholic. She was also lesbian.

So she stuck out like a sore thumb all through school.

And, after the Roe decision? Many pro-choice groups, like 1960s and 1970s feminists in general, were wary of lesbians. And, she was uneducated. And poor. And already perhaps a bit mentally unstable.

And, ripe for the picking by Flip Benham. That's the way these people work.

Per the Observer, the CBS documentary does seem to miss something on the alleged conversion explainer. I think it's missing two somethings.

One, it's missing more depth on or about that anti-choice folks. Of course, if many of them refused to talk, there's only so much you can do.

It's missing something from McCorvey, though, as well. Did the antis, like the pro-choice side, toss her away and ignore her after peak political utility.

But of course!

Caitlin Cruz does note that McCorvey's "collateral damages" weren't mentioned.

She ended her romantic relationship with her lover, Connie Gonzales, and they became "just friends." And apparently, even as McCorvey secretly backslid again from the anti-choice movement, for fear of public exposure, that was never resumed.

And, sadly for McCorvey, unless she signed some contractual disclosures that said she'd have to pay back some money if she publicly backslid, she took 15 minutes of fame pseudo-attention over the real attention of a love relationship.

And, that's collateral damages from child abuse.

IndieWire notes the movie also doesn't give more voice to McCorvey, or more insight into her personal life, on the issue of her own children.


The antis have spoken elsewhere already, though, re the Observer. They claim that the documentary was manipulative, in a typical pots-and-kettles response. My sister said she was appalled when she heard about the money payments (none of which is denied by the anti-choice zealots). My stance is that being appalled by something is based in part on being shocked by it. Of course, I'm not. That said, it was the Protestant fundy types that were manipulative. Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, said he long knew she was a more complicated person, and that he doesn't think she abandoned her "move."

THAT then said, Slate notes that the documentary itself portrays McCorvey as a complex person. Methinks they doth protest too much. And if they don't like it? Make your own "counter-documentary." And, if you want it to be a real one? Per the link above, see if McCorvey's daughter will talk.

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