Reactions To Norma McCorvey's Death Reflect Her Polarizing History
The abortion debate in the United States couldn't have had a more influential yet polarizing figure than it did with Norma McCorvey, also known as the "Jane Roe" referenced in Roe v. Wade. McCorvey, who died at the age of 69 on Saturday, was hailed as a trailblazer for women's rights in the 1970's after her landmark victory in the Supreme Court afforded women the constitutional right to obtain legal abortions. Her legacy made a stunning 180-degree turn in 1994 with the publication of her memoir I Am Jane Roe, in which she announced her conversion to Christianity and her embrace of anti-abortion values. Reactions to McCorvey's death have been predictably divided.
Prominent pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood and feminist activists have been largely restrained in light of the news. Most have yet to respond publicly. Others, like Bitch Media co-founder Andi Zeisler, have chosen to retweet news articles of McCorvey's passing without comment. On the other side of the spectrum, multiple anti-abortion organizations and conservative politicians quickly posted mournful messages to their social media platforms, with many propping her up as a prime example of a pro-choicer who eventually "saw the light."
Outside the world of public figures, though, both sides haven't held back on sharing their reactions.
1. Still Honoring Her Impact
Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe vs Wade decision legalizing abortion, just died. To honor her, let's say loud & clear: MY BODY, MY CHOICE! pic.twitter.com/LjK3MoHyZB— #RemoveTrump (@France4Hillary) February 18, 2017
Some pro-choicers are choosing to still show appreciation for her role in the landmark ruling, regardless of what she later supported.
2. Going With Her Other Views
Sad to learn of the death of Norma McCorvey--"Jane Roe" of Roe v Wade--who left the pro-abortion camp to become an advocate for the unborn.— Robert P. George (@McCormickProf) February 18, 2017
She was clearly a success story for the conservative side of the issue.
3. Someone Else Embracing The Early Jane Roe
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) in Roe v. Wade, the SC's landmark abortion case died. Lets always honor her by continuing to fight for our rights! pic.twitter.com/Dz84zXFqEm— Lily Lane (@LilyLaneMusic) February 18, 2017
4. Pro-Life Articles
Some of the leading organizations who focus on opposing abortion swiftly wrote a variety of articles highlighting "pro-life" facts and quotes from McCorvey's life, always with a positive bent.
4. What She "Really Stood For"
You can basically pick either part of her life and use them for your own views.
5. What She Said
woah okay then. well, sis, thanks for giving us roe v wade and not being able to overturn it just yet. pic.twitter.com/VbL4FBGfOh— talia jane (@itsa_talia) February 18, 2017
Pretty much this.
6. Lot Of Religion
Norma McCorvey "Jane Roe" has died aged 69. She was used in Roe vs Wade for abortion, later becoming pro-life & Catholic. Pray for her soul pic.twitter.com/XLDxUgjvfC— Man of Catholicism (@Catholicismguy) February 18, 2017
As would be expected, many of those in support of McCorvey's later stance injected a heavily religious tone to their messages.
7. Right-Wing Politicians Speak Out
Norma McCorvey(The Roe of Roe v Wade died todayPro abortion first Then she said she became a Christian by which she became prolife advocate— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) February 18, 2017
She'll likely become an even more influential figure on conservative rhetoric from here on out.
Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on, she probably did or said something you're uncomfortable with at some point during her activist days. How McCorvey's story will be shaped after her passing is certainly something to watch out for. There's quite a lot that can be discussed regarding the influence that class, personal trauma, and institutional religion may have had on her stances.