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Janet's Weekly Commentary

Deathbed Confession

She was the “Roe” in the infamous Roe v. Wade decision—and one filmmaker wants to rewrite her story.

In 1969, Norma McCorvey was 22, unmarried, out of work and pregnant for the third time. She has been described as “a poor, working-class woman from Louisiana, burdened with the psychological pain of an unplanned pregnancy, [who] unwittingly became the catalyst in the fight for the legalization of abortion.”

She wanted an abortion in Texas, where abortion was illegal except to save the life of the mother. A lawsuit was filed and her story ultimately became the basis of the infamous decision establishing so-called ‘abortion rights’. Norma never had an abortion and gave her daughter up for adoption.

Norma was a broken person, suffering both physical and emotional abuse. She would frequent gay bars and dealt with substance abuse. After being fired from a job at an abortion clinic, Norma and her same-sex partner were helped in numerous ways by Christians who wanted to wrap her in the love of Jesus. In 1995, Norma gave her life to Christ and began speaking across the country in support of life.

Norma died in 2017 but she is back in the news again now that one cable network is airing a film about her life called “A.K.A. Jane Roe” where Norma allegedly offers her “deathbed confession”, declaring that her pro-life conversation was an “act” paid for by the Religious Right. The documentarian behind the film is Nick Sweeney who has made other films like “My Transgender Summer Camp”; “Girls to Men”; “My Transgender Kid”; and “The Sex Robots Are Coming”  

The documentary on Norma McCorvey aired on the FX channel, the same network that ran The Handmaid’s Tale series. In case you missed it—and I hope you did—the series, based on a book by a Canadian author, ran a plot line featuring a dystopian world that has just experienced a second American civil war. In this new world—a totalitarian society—fertile women, called Handmaids, are forced into child-bearing slavery. The worldview of the network is easily discernable.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, spoke to Norma a few days before her death. Both shared the pain of being tied directly into abortion and its deadly impact. Johnson identified Norma’s pain, calling it “a self-imposed burden that she could not shake...that she carried with her until the day of her death…She was shamelessly used by the abortion industry at a young age. She was a vulnerable target for them and that's who they prey on. No one reading this can even understand the mental state of a woman tormented by that burden...especially in the last year of her life.”

At the end, Norma was used and abused one more time. But for so many of us, she will always be the perfect picture of how brokenness and pain can be transformed into healing and restoration through the power of Christ’s unfailing love. Her name may be on the abortion decision that hangs like a sword over our nation—but, more importantly, her name is forever written in the Lamb’s Book of Life—not because of some so-called “deathbed confession” but because of her confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

Those are my thoughts. I’m Janet Parshall.

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Janet Parshall

Janet Parshall has been broadcasting from the nation's capital for over two decades. Her passion is to "equip the saints" through intelligent conversation based on biblical truth. When she is not behind her microphone, Janet is speaking across the country on issues impacting Christians. She has authored several books, including her latest, Buyer Beware: Finding Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas. Parshall and her husband, Craig, live in Virginia, and have four children and six grandchildren.

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