FX is airing a documentary called AKA Roe. In this documentary, Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” in Roe v Wade, gives what she terms her “deathbed confession.”
Like just about everything else she did in her life, Norma McCorvey’s deathbed confession is a doozy.
You may remember that Ms McCorvey originally told Sarah Weddington, one of the attorneys who took Roe v Wade to the Supreme Court, that she was pregnant as a result of rape. McCorvey later recanted that story, announcing that she had lied to Ms Weddington about being raped.
This lie had nothing to do with the decision that overturned abortion laws in America. The court did not base its decision on McCorvey’s situation. But the lie did begin her very public career of making claims and later recanting them.
For years, McCorvey was a pro choice advocate. Then, in another switcheroo, she announced that she was now a born-again Christian and that she was opposed to legal abortion.
Now, we have the scandalous documentary, AKA Roe, in which she recants yet again. Her deathbed confession is that she was lying when she said she opposed legal abortion and that she did it for the money she was paid by the pro life movement. She further states that her speeches on behalf of the unborn were written for her; that she was told what to say by the same pro life preachers who paid her to say it.
Once again Norma McCorvey has managed to make herself the center of attention, this time from the grave. She also achieves one more highly-public, attention-grabbing switch in her lifelong pattern of telling a story that elicits sympathy and support and then later announcing that she was lying all along.
Pro life people are all in a dither over this. Prominent pro life clergy are scurrying around, trying to save their reputations. “She was lying when she said she lied!” they announce. Their denials and half-baked defenses are being reprinted and spiffed up to sound more convincing by various pro life venues. Pro life loyalists are forwarding these stories on their Facebook pages, Twitter and Reddit feeds.
Blah. Blah. Blah.
AKA Roe shows receipts and bank records demonstrating that McCorvey was paid upwards of $450,000 over the years for her pro life work. It also aired damning interviews with two of the pro life preachers who “handled” McCorvey in her public appearances, and who preached at her funeral.
McCorvey’s latest flip-flop-flip sounds like it’s basically true. She was targeted by pro life preachers for conversion. They scripted her speeches denouncing legal abortion. She was paid to make those speeches. Not only that, but she denounced her sexual orientation at their request, despite the fact that she was part of a long-term, stable, lesbian relationship with the woman who she says in the documentary was the love of her life.
What she felt down in her heart during her early conversion, I’m not sure even she could say. But I, for one, do not think she was abused by the pro life movement, or at least I don’t think that she was abused by them any more than they were abused by her.
The documentary sounds as if Ms McCorvey converted to the pro life movement because they gave her more attention and paid her better than the pro choice people did. Then, when she was in failing health and no longer useful, they dumped her. The pro life preachers who converted her may have preached her funeral, but the film offers no evidence that they visited McCorvey in the nursing home.
If she was angry about this, she certainly got her revenge by cooperating in the making of this documentary.
This is it not to say that pro life religious leaders did not manipulate and use Norma McCorvey. Based on my experience, high profile preachers who get into political power games are almost always phony-baloney spiritual abusers and hucksters. They are some of the greasiest greasers I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. Of course they went after Norma McCorvey.
I think Norma McCorvey used the pro life movement to get attention and money. I think, based on the documentary, that the two preachers who gave interviews used her to build their egos and fill the coffers of their “ministries.” They paid her to put on a really good show, and her “testimony” helped them publicize their minstries and keep the donations flowing in.
Norma McCorvey’s conversion did not affect the legal status of abortion. Paying high-profile converts to give gut-wrenching speeches about the horrors of legal abortion does nothing to advance the cause of life. What it does is feed the egos of the preachers who “converted” them and introduce a level of dishonesty and satanic evil into the movement.
There is a titillating, prurient, quality to the tales these people tell. Some of their stories are close to a type of horror porn. I don’t have much respect for high profile converts who get paid to share their witness. I also don’t think too highly of their political preacher handlers.
I have never and I will never take a dime for speaking for the unborn. That’s blood money. Pro life “converts” who make a good living telling their story are trading on the lives of the people they helped kill.
I’ve never yet seen one of these “conversion story for hire” converts who didn’t end up pandering to the nutty faction in our movement.
No matter how sincere they might have been when they began, over time, their “witness” starts sounding canned and rehearsed. Then, the next thing you know, they’re coloring outside the lines of truth and dressing things up with ever more incredible horror stories. After that, they begin to follow down the path of looney nonsense that is on the fringe of any political movement, joining up with right wing crazies in their craziness.
Norma McCorvey was an extreme example. The truth according to her is that she never really converted. Or maybe she did convert, but then she lost her conversion in the circus that followed.
She was a woman who had a terrible childhood and who craved attention and respect. She also preferred giving speeches to big crowds for lots of money to working for pennies as a cleaning lady. Giving her “witness” at pro life rallies for large checks fed all these needs in one swoop.
The preachers who “converted” her grooved all over the ego rush of landing such a big fish. They paid her to say what they wanted and, they got off on it and made a lot more money that McCorvey did from it.
They weren’t shepherds. They were just another version of what she’d known all her growing up. They were abusers.
None of this says much of anything about the question of abortion. Abortion is wrong because it kills a child. There is no need for horror stories or high profile converts or any of the other window dressing the movement loves so much. Those things distract from the truth of the matter, which stands on its own.
I hope that Norma McCorvey reconciled with God before her end. I hope the preachers who used her do the same thing, because they need it just as much as she ever did.