In the FX documentary “AKA Jane Roe,” filmmaker Nick Sweeney stumbled upon a major revelation: Roe (of Roe v. Wade) was bribed into being anti-abortion by the Christian right.
Norma McCorvey never knew who to trust. She was declared a ward of the state at 10. Then her father walked out, leaving her in the hands of an alcoholic mother and first cousin once removed, who she said raped her numerous times. By 16, she was married to Woody McCorvey. When he allegedly began abusing her, she left, giving birth to their daughter a year later. Norma drank to numb the pain, but it got so bad that her mom tricked her into signing adoption papers. She got pregnant a third time at 21, and, with little money and nowhere to turn, was passed on to a pair of attorneys who sought to challenge the country’s anti-abortion laws. The eventual Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, resulted in a landmark decision protecting a woman’s right to choose.
The “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade was none other than McCorvey. She never did have an abortion, giving birth—and putting the child up for adoption—while the case was still being argued. Nonetheless, she became the poster child for the pro-choice movement. That all changed in 1995, when McCorvey was approached by Flip Benham, an evangelical minister and head of the notorious anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. She became born again, separating from her longtime female partner, Connie; renounced her pro-choice past, maintaining she was used by the pro-choice crowd; and transformed into a fiery anti-abortion activist.
“It was all an act,” she confessed in a new documentary film.