2017-02-18 21:06:24 UTC
She died of heart failure, said a journalist profiling the landmark
By Andy Campbell
Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the landmark
Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States,
died Saturday at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was
Journalist Joshua Prager, who was reportedly working on a book about
Roe v. Wade, confirmed that McCorvey died of heart failure, according
to The Washington Post.
McCorvey was dealing with abuse, addiction and an unwanted pregnancy
when she filed suit in 1970 as the anonymous plaintiff "Jane Roe" to
battle for her right to an abortion. She never actually had an abortion
the child she gave birth to in 1970 was adopted but she went on to
fight for reproductive rights until the decision was handed down in
The Huffington Post's Jenavieve Hatch reports:
"McCorvey became a pro-choice poster child, working for women's centers
in Texas and California in the '80s and early '90s. But in 1995,
Operation Rescue, a Christian group focused on making abortion illegal,
moved in next door to the Dallas abortion clinic where she worked.
According to The New York Times, McCorvey bonded with members of the
group over time, and was baptized in August of that year. Since then,
she has been an ardent pro-life activist, and in 1998 she fully
converted to Catholicism."
Since Roe v. Wade, some 50 million legal abortions have been performed
in the United States, though state and federal laws have imposed a
range of restrictions on abortions and other reproductive rights.
McCorvey remains a divisive American character who's been the subject
of three autobiographies, several films and some great reporting.
Prager's profile on her for Vanity Fair paints a picture of an
"accidental activist" who struggled through three pregnancies and
trouble at home before she took on the job of being one of the
country's most infamous plaintiffs.