Roe no more
Norma McCorvey's conversion to Jesus Christ
By Erica J. Parkerson, first printed in The Charlotte World, reprinted with permission
CHARLOTTE-Norma McCorvey, better known as Jane Roe, used to spit in the face of pro-lifers and call them every name in the book. Today she has joined their desperate chorus, calling for an end to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case in which she was the plaintiff.
In 1995, Operation Rescue moved next door to A Choice for Women, an abortion clinic and McCorvey's headquarters in Dallas, Texas. "They don't make nicotine strong enough for situations such as these," McCorvey testified on her Web site, www.roenomore.org. "I called Flip Benham, the brash and bold leader of Operation Rescue, 'Flip Venom.'"
One day McCorvey told Benham he needed to go to a Beach Boys concert. He startled her by saying he hadn't been to a Beach Boys concert since 1976. "Come on, Flip, I didn't know you were ever a sinner," she prodded. His response surprised her. "Miss Norma," Benham said, "I'm a great big sinner, saved by a great big God."
McCorvey writes, "Of all the things I expected Flip to say, this wasn't one of them. I didn't like to think of Flip as human. Flip began sharing some stories of his past and out of this vulnerability an unlikely friendship was born."
Operation Rescue volunteers also shared the Gospel with McCorvey, and she challenged them with her book of Runes and crystals. "It wasn't exactly Elijah and the prophets of Baal, but in both of our minds it was clearly a case of 'may the true God win,'" wrote McCorvey.
Seven employees of A Choice for Women accepted Christ during this time, according to Benham. "We saw the Gospel just penetrate through the walls into the hearts of the employees there," he said, adding that clinic workers sent women next door. "New employees were asked to sign a statement that said that they would not associate with the people of Operation Rescue during office hours."
But it was a seven-year-old girl named Emily, the daughter of Operation Rescue volunteer Ronda Mackey, who truly won McCorvey for Jesus. "Emily's blatant affection, frequent hugs, and direct pursuit disarmed me," wrote McCorvey. One day while Emily was spending time in her office, she overheard McCorvey lose her temper with someone on the phone. "I'd just as soon see you in hell as see you in here," McCorvey told the caller. "Emily responded, 'You don't have to go to hell, Miss Norma. You can pray right now and Jesus will forgive you.'"
McCorvey said this childlike faith made her receptive to the truth being shared by the adult volunteers at Operation Rescue. "I wasn't won over by compelling apologetics. I had a ninth grade education and a very soft heart," she wrote. "While the Operation Rescue adults targeted my mind, Emily went straight for the heart. And over time, Emily began to personify the issue of abortion."
The little girl's witness took on an added dimension when McCorvey learned that Emily's mother, Ronda, almost aborted her. Soon after, McCorvey noticed the bumper sticker on Ronda's car: "Abortion Stops a Beating Heart," complete with a "vividly red heart" on the side. "All the sudden, I saw Emily's heart in that sticker and it just about destroyed me when I realized that 'my law' had almost snuffed out young Emily's life," wrote McCorvey. "I was forever changed by this experience. Abortion was no longer an 'abstract right.' It had a face now, in a little girl named Emily."
Emily convinced McCorvey to go to church, where Pastor Morris Sheats asked if anyone was tired of living a sinner's life. McCorvey raised her hand high, though she leaned heavily on Ronda, Emily's mother. "Immediately I felt overwhelmed with my need to respond," McCorvey wrote. "When I reached Pastor Sheats, I saw Jesus in his eyes. It made me feel so incredibly sorry for all my sins, especially for my role in legalizing abortion. I just kept repeating over and over, 'I just want to undo all the evil I've done in this world. I'm so sorry, God.'"
When the tears stopped, McCorvey says she broke into the biggest smile of her life. "I no longer felt the pressure of my sin pushing down on my shoulders. The release was so quick that I felt like I could almost float outside," she wrote.
"She was born again real good," said Benham.
One day as she sat in her former enemy camp, the offices of Operation Rescue, her eyes locked onto a fetal development poster. "I felt 'crushed' under the truth of this realization Abortion wasn't about 'products of conception.' It was about children being killed in their mother's wombs," McCorvey wrote. "All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong. No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff. Abortion-at any point-was wrong. It was so clear."
Appearing on "Good Morning America," McCorvey, with Benham at her side, announced she had given her life to Christ. A guest from the pro-choice camp said that it didn't matter, that no one would care. Benham fired back, "That's exactly right. You never cared about Norma McCorvey, ever. You only cared about the Jane Roe on that suit and now the poster girl for pro-choice has jumped right into the arms of Jesus."
Benham said McCorvey was always an embarrassment to the National Organization of Women (NOW), the National Association for the Repeal of the Abortion Laws (NARAL), and Planned Parenthood. "They hated that drunken, drug-addicted girl. Jane Roe was a name on the class action suit."
Roe v. Wade was built on lies, according to Benham. "(McCorvey) said that she was raped by eight circus employees. Norma never had an abortion and she was never raped," he said. "The people that were involved are saying they were lying."
One such person is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL. "He's now a professing Christian," Benham said. "He told the truth about the lie that established Roe vs. Wade."
On the Web site www.aboutabortions.com/Confess.html, Nathanson reports that the idea of permissive abortion had to be sold to America and was done so by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. "The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000, 000," he writes. "Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law."
Another lie bought by mainstream America was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally, says Nathanson. "In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1, 500 percent since legalization."
"I will never be able to look at Jesus without shame," McCorvey once confessed to Benham. He reminded her of God's promise in Psalm 34:5: "Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."
Today, Norma McCorvey, the woman whose name was once synonymous with Roe v. Wade, is director of the Roe No More speaking ministry.
For more information, visit www.roenomore.org.