GRANVILLE – Norma McCorvey doesn’t shy away from controversy.
McCorvey, the real-life person fictitiously named “Jane Roe” in the 1973 Supreme Court abortion- on-demand decision in Roe v. Wade, spoke at Denison University’s Swasey Chapel Wednesday night.
She started by telling the crowd of about 150 people that she hadn’t been brought to the campus to change anyone’s mind about abortion. She said she does not speak for the pro-life movement, only for herself. She talked about her upbringing as a Catholic and a Jehovah’s Witness, how she worked at a Dallas abortion clinic, and her conversion to Christianity 10 years ago, when the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue moved its offices next door.
Then the fireworks started. When a group of people applauded, apparently in favor of abortion, she had a campus security guard remove a female student. A stream of other people left with her in protest. After that, the lines were clearly drawn between the pro-life and pro-choice factions.
During a brief recess before a question-and-answer period, Kris Hill, a 20-year-old sophomore from Dresden said, “Ideologically, I do not agree with abortion. I believe it’s murder. But I don’t agree with her asking people with dissenting opinions to leave. I just think that’s wrong.”
Teresa Bratton, a 19-year-old sophomore from Danville, Ohio, said she believed McCorvey managed to alienate just about everyone in the audience.
“First of all, she completely alienated anyone who was just here to hear the other side of the story,” Bratton said. “Then she went ahead and alienated a lot of people by just talking about the God aspect of it. I know that’s a huge part of it. I’m Catholic and pro-choice. But by the time she started talking about Catholicism, I was already blocking everything she said because it was so ridiculous.”
It is rather strange to hear someone say “I’m Catholic and pro-choice” and then complain that something somebody else said was ridiculous.
…When asked about her participation in the landmark Supreme Court case, she said she was 22 years old in 1969 when she was approached by Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, two lawyers attempting to overturn the Texas statute outlawing abortion. She described herself as a homeless hippie, and the women offered her two things she truly loved: pizza and beer. But after they acquired her participation, she said, “They pretty well used me as the sacrificial lamb.”