One Time Abortion Advocate, Later Pro-Life Leader, Passes Away at 69

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By AUL, Special for USADC.

Americans United for Life Acting President and Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe expressed his condolences on Saturday on the passing of Norma McCorvey, who first became known as “Jane Roe” in the infamous abortion case Roe v. Wade.  “Norma McCorvey became a pro-life champion as she dedicated her life to overturning the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Roe v. Wade, the 1970 abortion case filed on her behalf to overturn the nation’s abortion laws,” said Forsythe. “She joined the efforts of millions of pro-life Americans, fighting to address the destruction caused by the fatally-flawed Supreme Court case begun in her name, and tragically she has died nearly 12 years to the day (Feb 22 2005) after the Supreme Court refused to hear her motion to reopen her original case.”

From legal perspectives across an ideological perspective, Roe has been harshly criticized. For example, James Simon, a liberal law professor, called Roe v. Wade “the most controversial decision of the modern Court era.” A 2005 book edited by another liberal law professor, Jack Balkin, went farther, calling Roe simply “America’s Most Controversial Decision.”  After retiring, Justice Lewis Powell, who voted to approve Roe, referred to Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton as “the worst opinions I ever joined.”

“Since the days of Roe v. Wade, countless women have been harmed and infants lost to the devastation of abortion. The case was decided without a trial record, without medical evidence, without reliable medical data.  I and many others have been touched by Norma’s courage and humility as she spoke on behalf of life. She will be greatly missed, and Americans United for Life mourns her passing.”

Clarke Forsythe is Acting President & Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL) and author of Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade (Encounter Books 2013). For more information go to For interviews, e-mail:

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