By Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Editor’s note. As promised we are continuing to post stories about Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade. As is always the case, Maria’s story crackles with insight.
You can hear a smile in a voice.
It is one of those interesting facts of communication that I learned in a radio journalism class which proved to be helpful far beyond the confines of the classroom.
As a reporter, I heard a range of emotions in the interviews that would be recorded for broadcast–sadness, anger, pride.
Over the past few days, I have been reminded of a voice that answered the phone when I was working on a story about abortion.
The voice belonged to the “Roe” of the tragic U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which brought about the legalization of abortion nationwide in 1973. Her real name was Norma McCorvey, and by that time, she had renounced the court decision that bore her pseudonym. She was striving to right a horrible wrong, to save the lives of preborn children, and to spare their mothers unspeakable pain and heartache.
Ironically, she was not the person I was calling to interview, so our conversation was quite brief.
But I heard much in her voice: Kindness. Compassion. Caring.
Norma McCorvey was once part of the abortion industry. But she died a pro-life champion.
It is common for those involved in court cases to wish the court had ruled differently. It is incredible for a winner of a case to wish she had lost.
“Roe” wanted Roe v. Wade to be overturned. This would be like saying the winning team of the last Super Bowl wished the second half never would have happened and that they had lost the biggest football game of the year.
But it was true. I could not only hear it in her voice–it was also apparent in the actions that she took to try to reverse a Supreme Court ruling that has led to the deaths of more than 59 million preborn children and the haunting grief of millions of mothers and fathers, grandparents and siblings.
Some Millennials may not know that the woman behind Roe, Norma McCorvey, reversed course and adopted a pro-life point of view. They may be stunned to learn that the woman who was the subject of the nation’s best-known abortion case never had an abortion herself–that the pregnancy that led to her being the subject of a court case ended in birth and subsequent adoption.
But as spectacular as Norma’s story may be, in a sense, it is not entirely unique.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL, left the abortion industry behind and became an ardent supporter of the right to life. Carol Everett, a former abortion center owner, became a passionate defender of life.
Add to that all those women who are a part of the Silent No More Awareness campaign–women who had abortions, but who now regret them. They are breaking the code of silence surrounding abortion so that other women can avoid such horrific tragedy.
These women cannot be silenced. And neither can Norma. Her voice lives on in video and in the minds of those touched by her call for the nation to embrace mothers and their children–and to abandon Roe v. Wade.
For if “Roe” no longer believed in Roe v. Wade, why should the Supreme Court? If the Court cannot hear the silent cry of the preborn child, perhaps quite soon it will listen to the words of women such as Norma. They are women who were once deceived by the lies of the abortion industry, but who found their voice when they rediscovered the hope that lies in fighting for life.
The nation owes it to Norma, and to all those other women, to end the epic human catastrophe caused by Roe v. Wade and to discard the unjust court decision once and for all.