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'Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade case said she was paid to support anti-abortion movement

In what she described as a deathbed confession, Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, said that her switch to anti-abortion activism in the 90s was 'all an act.'
Credit: AP
In this July 28, 2009 file photo, Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, speaks as she joins other anti-abortion demonstrators in DC.

WASHINGTON — Norma McCorvey, whose lawsuit led to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, revealed in an upcoming documentary that her 1995 turn against abortion "was all an act" and she had been paid to promote anti-abortion causes. 

"AKA Jane Roe," which premieres on FX Networks on May 22, was filmed in 2017 before McCorvey's death. 

In what she described as a "deathbed confession," McCorvey told filmmakers her switch to anti-abortion activism in the 90s was "all an act," according to reviews of the documentary by the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Beast.  

“I was the big fish. 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,” McCorvey said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It was all an act. I did it well, too. I am a good actress.”

McCorvey's legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision that legalized abortion. More than 20 years after the court's ruling, she shocked abortion advocates by announcing that she had become an opponent of the procedure.

She died of heart failure in 2017 at the age of 69. 

Credit: AP
Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe in the 1973 court case, left, and her attorney Gloria Allred hold hands as they leave the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC., Wednesday, April 26, 1989 after sitting in while the court listened to arguments in a Missouri abortion case.

According to the Daily Beast, the documentary also features filmmakers showing McCorvey's confession to her friends and acquaintances on both the pro-choice and anti-abortion sides. 

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Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister and former leader of the anti-abortion rights group Operation Rescue, confirmed that McCorvey was paid and "coached on what to say" in her speeches. 

The film also notes that the Texas woman never had an abortion. By the time the case was decided, her third child, who she gave up for adoption, was already a toddler, according to Business Insider