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Friday December 19, 2014
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Rocking the Roe boat

I neglected to post on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade yesterday. So let's consider the remarkable story of Norma McCorvey, who was the "Roe" in that case:

But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was “pro-choice” on abortion at the time, is now a pro-life advocate. She is now dedicated to reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane Roe.

In a video, McCorvey explains her effort to obtain a legal abortion in the 1970s when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, she has never had an abortion and now realizes that her court case was the biggest mistake of her life and currently fights to stop abortion.

“Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” she says in the ad. “At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion.”

“I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name,” McCorvey says.

No need here to rehash all the pro-life and pro-choice arguments that have been so thoroughly explored in the last 40 years. But no matter where one stands on the issue, this should seem like a compelling story. Her case led to one of the most profound, divisive opinions in Supreme Court history and brought an outcome she has dedicated her whole life to opposing. As she says, her name is now in the history books, in the worst way she could have imagined. I can't fathom what carrying such a burden around every day is like.

We're always told that we should consider abortion not as a great national issue but one of personal, agonizing choices made in individual homes by specific women and their loved ones. But people sometimes make choices they regret, so stories like McCorvey's need to be told. The pro-choice side always talks about people who have "strong pro-life views" until the issue hits them or someone they know. Reality can turn a pro-life view into a pro-choice view. But it works the other way, too, yes?

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