A new FX documentary about the woman who initiated the historic Roe v. Wade court case that made abortion legal in the U.S. claims to contain a deathbed confession from “Jane Roe” herself, who did a sudden 180 in the mid-1990s and became an anti-abortion activist. This was very much to the delight of the Evangelical Christian right, but in the filmed confession, Roe—real name Norma McCorvey—says she only did it for the money.
The documentary will be released to the public on May 22, but publications and reviewers who were able to view it early are widely reporting on this revelation.
Well this is quite the bombshell: On her deathbed, Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) admitted she was simply a paid shill for the anti-abortion movement. And anti-abortion movement leaders confessed that they used "needy" women like Norma and made them a "target." https://t.co/Z2WCnn94Ws— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) May 19, 2020
McCorvey died in 2017 after becoming ill and called the confession to documentary director Nick Sweeney her “deathbed confession.”
“Did [the evangelicals] use you as a trophy?” Sweeney asks.
“Of course,” she replies. “I was the Big Fish.”
U.S. Evangelicals were ecstatic in 1995 when McCorvey “converted” to Christianity and claimed to regret her involvement in the lawsuit, saying that she was a pawn of abortion activists. Instead, it seems that she entered into a mutually beneficial relationship with a group of people who kept her quite comfortable.
“I think it was a mutual thing,” she said in 2017. “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 was conflicted about appearing in this film, but I’m sure glad I did. You’ll see me express deep regret for how movement leaders like me treated Norma McCorvey “Jane Roe” of Roe v Wade. Please watch: AKA Jane Roe | Official Trailer [HD] | FX https://t.co/I0XCoKzNzB via @YouTube pic.twitter.com/x8BFXbK8cE— Rev Rob Schenck (@RevRobSchenck1) May 17, 2020
Documents found by the makers of the documentary seem to corroborate her confession, showing at least $456,911 in “benevolent gifts” from anti-abortion groups made to McCorvey. Reverend Schenck, one of the Evangelical leaders involved in this scam, also confessed that McCorvey had been “on the payroll, as it were.”
“But I knew what we were doing. And there were times when I was sure she knew,” said Schenck. “And I wondered, ‘Is she playing us?’ What I didn’t have the guts to say was, ‘because I know damn well we’re playing her.'”
News of McCorvey’s confession is currently rocking Twitter and giving some well-earned validation to the pro-choice community.
The holler I just let out. WOW. | Jane Roe Confesses Anti-Abortion Conversion ‘All an Act’ Paid for by the Christian Right https://t.co/Nll8dX0S1x— Imani Gandy ☄️🌏🔥 (@AngryBlackLady) May 19, 2020
Jane Roe's (Roe v. Wade) conversion to become anti-abortion was all a paid act according to a new documentary. This is an extreme example of precisely why we do not base rights on individual experiences and feelings. https://t.co/EApYmZWbgo— ilyseh (@ilyseh) May 19, 2020
It's not shocking that the Christian Right paid "Jane Roe" (Norma McCorvey) to be an anti-abortion crusader, but it IS shocking that she confessed it all before her death in 2017 so that we now have this evidence. Some favorite parts of the article: [1/4]https://t.co/F2GcvFJXK5— Alex DiBranco (@alexdibranco) May 19, 2020
Wow: a big part of the anti-abortion movement is that women regret their choice, which they illustrated using "Jane Roe."— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) May 19, 2020
In a deathbed confession, she says never really changed her mind, just took money from activists: "It was all an act." https://t.co/8pvLs0afMf
Jane Roe on her death bed revealing that right wing groups been paying her to be a pro life activist is....i mean lmao not surprising. do we got a term for when white women go full right for a paycheck??? T*mi L*hrening it????— Alycia Quacker (@AlyciaQuacker) May 19, 2020
Wow. Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade fame supposedly became an evangelical anti-abortion crusader in the '90s. Turns out it was all an act -- the right paid her to play the role. Is there a single element of US conservatism that is not utterly fraudulent? https://t.co/Y69U59ixGJ— David Roberts (@drvox) May 19, 2020
Exactly. Every accusation is a low key confession…they're already doing what they are warning about from the other side.— paulbeard (@paulbeard) May 19, 2020
Can a cause built on so much dishonesty be just? The answer is no.