The late Norma McCorvey, better known by her pseudonym “Jane Roe” which she used in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, has revealed that she was paid by anti-abortion groups to speak out against the law that her case created in an upcoming documentary.
Portions of “AKA Jane Roe,” which premieres Friday on FX, were filmed in the months prior to McCorvey’s death in February 2017. In it, McCorvey gives a “deathbed confession” saying she pivoted to speaking against abortion rights because she received payment from groups such as Operation Rescue.
“I was the big fish,” McCorvey says. “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they’d put me out in front of the cameras and tell me what to say. That’s what I’d say… It was all an act. I did it well too. I am a good actress.”
Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution protects pregnant women’s right to choose to procure an abortion without excessive government restrictions. The case was a pivotal victory for the pro-choice movement and stoked a national debate around abortion that continues to this day. McCorvey served as the plaintiff.
In 1995, McCorvey became a born-again Christian and began making appearances at anti-abortion protests and spoke in documentaries. “AKA Jane Roe” explores how McCorvey was brought into the anti-abortion movement, as well as her relationship with pro-choice organizations and her experience remaining anonymous during the Supreme Court case.
McCorvey reasserts her supportive position on abortion in the documentary, saying “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice.”