I first met Norma McCorvey some 20 years ago, soon after her Christian conversion. That conversion set her against the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, and in which she was the plaintiff.
Operating under the alias “Jane Roe”, McCorvey, 22 years old and pregnant with a child she didn’t want, represented by two young women attorneys anxious to legalize abortion, sued the state of Texas, where abortion was illegal, and ultimately achieved victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Subsequently, McCorvey and I found ourselves together on numerous occasions at pro-life events and rallies. We shared the same passion to stop abortion, both of us driven by regrets of personal mistakes in the past and a desire to, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “make crooked places straight.”
It was in the spirit of John Newton, a repentant British slave trader, who penned the words in his hymn Amazing Grace, “was blind and now I see.”
But my experience was personal. I had four abortions before my Christian conversion opened my eyes.
McCorvey never had an abortion. Her pregnancy, that she wanted to abort, came to term and she gave birth well before the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down.
The nightmare that tormented McCorvey was that her name appeared on the court decision that opened the door to, by current approximate count, 60 million fetuses killed in the womb.
She wanted it all blotted out — the law and her association with it. She wanted to bring those children back to life. That not being possible, she wanted the abortions to stop.
I have been speaking on the pro-life circuit for more than 30 years. Countless men and women have come to me and shared their anguish and regret about their abortions, which at the time they thought was a way out of a tough situation.
The regrets and the nightmares come from the illusion that there is a way out, that there is some escape valve from personal responsibility in life. Legal abortion provides this deadly illusion that there is a way out. But a clever brain cannot delude a knowing heart.
What young Norma McCorvey needed at the age of 22, pregnant with her life in disarray, was someone to step in and help her look into eternity and embrace life and the beauty of motherhood.
Instead, she met two ambitious young left-wing attorneys who saw an opportunity to use her and her anguish and confusion to transform the country, build and expand on the “me” culture that had picked up steam in the 1960s, and make the illusory abortion safety valve legally and easily available for all women.
But like all self-delusion, this illusion of greater freedom at the expense of the lives of others, just dug the hole deeper for Norma McCorvey, and so it has for our country.
The traditional American family, the pillar on which our country has grown and thrived, has fallen into disrepair. For most of the last century, about two-thirds of American households were headed by a married couple. After 1970, just prior to the legalization of abortion, this started to decline dramatically and by 2010 it was down to 45 percent.
With the collapse of marriage, we have seen a dramatic increase in government dependency. The percentage of the federal budget consisting of direct payments to individuals has increased over 130 percent since 1970.
Speaking in 2014 at a conference at the Vatican on marriage, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom said, “Life begins when male and female meet and embrace.”
Let’s remember Norma McCorvey and overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision she so regretted having been party to, and build a great nation and society based on love, respect, responsibility and awe for the mystery of life.