In Deathbed Confession, Jane Roe Says Evangelicals Paid Her To Turn Pro-Life

Screengrab / Washington Post / Washington Post

Sarah Shaiman

Roe's transition toward supporting the anti-abortion cause was a result of exploitation from two evangelical pastors.

In Nick Sweeney’s 79-minute documentary “AKA Jane Roe,” the former pro-choice advocate admits that her later turn to the anti-abortion camp as a born-again Christian was “all an act.” 

The Daily Beast reports that Norma McCorvey grew up a poor, queer woman, and she became Jane Roe when she was homeless and in need of an abortion. Her legal battle led to one of the most famous Supreme Court cases and a massive win for women’s reproductive rights: Roe v. Wade (1973). 

After the groundbreaking court case, things began to change.

  • McCorvey became an outspoken anti-abortion activist in the mid-90s. 
  • She became a born-again Christian with the help of two evangelical pastors who saw her as vulnerable.
  • She denounced being a lesbian, leaving her long-term girlfriend.

However, in the final third of “AKA Jane Roe,” McCorvey admits she was only looking for a pay day. In return for repeating scripted lines against the evils of abortion, she received over $450,000 in “benevolent gifts” from the anti-abortion movement. The two pastors who used her have differing opinions on the matter.

  • Reverend Benham believed McCorvey chose to be used.
  • Reverend Schenk believed as people of God, what they did to McCorvey was not beyond reproach, saying: “For Christians like me, there is no more important or authoritative voice than Jesus. And he said, ‘What does it profit in the end if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul?’ When you do what we did to Norma, you lose your soul.”

McCorvey does not feel as though she was used by the church. She said, “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say.”

“This is my deathbed confession,” she said, admitting the anti-abortion crusade was a mere act. 

Read more here. 

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