Remembering ‘Roe’

When Norma McCorvey — the “Roe” of the eponymous Supreme Court decision – died last month, many obituaries portrayed her as a passive pawn. Focusing on the difference between the mythic Roe and real-life McCorvey, remembrances like the one in the New York Times found occasion to wax philosophical about the distance between one person’s life and the forces of history. Such eulogies, however, should have looked harder at McCorvey, for her journey from abortion proponent to pro-life activist teaches a very different lesson. Indeed, McCorvey’s life was not an imperfect parable about larger ideological conflicts; hers, instead, was a perfect story of sin and redemption, of error and salvation, of evil and good that encapsulates the ultimate trajectory of the same sad chapter of history to which she lent an anonymous name. Her own conversion anticipates the one to which our culture must inevitably submit, and her courageous and prophetic example is one which will edify pro-life generations yet to be born.

 

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