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The day Pilate returned

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McCorvey became the poster child for abortion movement
By Paul Schratz

 
Photo caption: Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling legalizing abortion in the United States, died Feb. 18 at age 69. She is pictured in a 2005 photo. (Shaun Heasley / Reuters / CNS)
 
I interviewed Norma McCorvey for all of 20 minutes and it was clear in that brief time she was a troubled woman.
 
Although she spoke with determination and passion, she conveyed the devastation of someone who had been put through life’s wringer ... one that was still squeezing her.
 
Understandably. No one could go through what McCorvey did and emerge unscathed. It’s appalling to even think about. She became the poster child for the abortion movement of a generation. Hers was the face that helped to launch tens of millions of abortions.
 
McCorvey was the Roe of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark U.S. court ruling that rubber-stamped abortion and set in motion a tsunami of death and misery that continues to this day.
 
Obituaries of McCorvey’s sad life described the fights she waged on both sides of the abortion battle – first how the “women’s rights” lobby manipulated her into being the sacrificial lamb for the ultimate pro-choice challenge.
 
Stories about her death sometimes mentioned her turning from abortion advocacy to embracing life, becoming a Christian and eventually a Catholic who tried as much as possible to make amends for the damage she felt responsible for.
 
What the stories often omitted is how little she actually had to do with the abortion decision she is remembered for, and the toll it took on her.
 
The personal demons she battled over the years threatened to mire her in private despair. I don’t know what her final state of mind was, but I hope she found some peace in the realization she was not responsible for the outcome of Roe vs. Wade.
 
She was a frightened 21-year-old who was manipulated into serving as the Roe plaintiff. Just like the men who took advantage of her, the abortion movement used her, abandoning her as soon as they achieved their objective ... the legalization of abortion in the U.S.
 
McCorvey, who later recanted her claim to have been raped and in need of an abortion, had to live the rest of her life with the knowledge she figured in a decision that led to the deaths of tens of millions of unborn children.
 
She would struggle with that burden till the end, even after becoming Christian and eventually Catholic, as well as a key figure in the pro-life movement, which is what brought her to Vancouver in 1999.
 
In our interview, she said she had no idea what documents she signed for the lawyers in 1970. She was so desperate she would have said or done anything to get the help she needed.
 
McCorvey’s name will forever be attached to the decision that opened the abortion floodgates, yet hers was a figurehead role. She was a pawn in a charade staged by lawyers who deceived their way through the courts to achieve their goal. All they needed was a name on a court docket. For them, any troubled woman would do.
 
Just as Jesus stood trial before Pilate and warned, “he who delivers me unto you has the greater sin,” McCorvey could truthfully say those who delivered her into the personal hell that became her life have the greater sin. And they are legion.
 
They include the attorneys who contrived to use her, discarding her as soon as they obtained what they wanted.
 
McCorvey would tell of how they abandoned her in her moment of need, content to exploit her name and then discarding her like a used syringe.
The guilty cohorts also include the judges and justices who, charged with applying the law, in Pilate fashion turned truth into something convenient and expedient.
 
They conjured up out of thin air a constitutional right to abortion, justified by the extraordinary statement, “There is no medical or scientific proof that life is present from conception.”
 
Bringing us to the third guilty party – the media.
 
That “fourth estate,” which likes to pretend it holds accountable those in authority and power, in fact sided with the powerful and literally championed the decision.
 
In that day, journalism still lived under the illusion it afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted. But in fact, that was the day journalism started in an uncompromising way to comfort the comfortable, helping to set the stage for the dehumanization of children in the womb and paving the way to making abortion the first option in unplanned pregnancy instead of an unspeakable one.
 
Next column: the fallout from Roe vs. Wade and its Canadian parallel continue in some unexpected ways.
 
Follow Paul on Twitter @paulschratz. 
Last Updated on Monday, 01 May 2017 13:46  

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