McCorvey has died at an assisted living center in Katy, Texas, with her family. She died of heart failure and had been ill for some time. McCorvey at 22, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time in 1969 tried to have an abortion in Texas; where abortion was illegal except to save a woman's life. A lawsuit ensued known as Roe v. Wade, which led to the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that established abortion rights. McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption. She gave birth to the Roe baby in June 1970.
One day she went inside the Operation Rescue office and noticed a fetal development poster on the wall. This poster caused a turning point, as she later wrote: “The progression was so obvious, the eyes were so sweet. It hurt my heart, just looking at them. I ran outside and finally, it dawned on me. ‘Norma’, I said to myself, ‘They’re right’. I had worked with pregnant women for years. I had been through three pregnancies and deliveries myself. I should have known. Yet something in that poster made me lose my breath. I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth — that’s a baby! “I felt crushed under the truth of this realization. I had to face up to the awful reality. Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception’. It wasn’t about ‘missed periods’. It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs. All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong. No more of this first trimester, second trimester, third trimester stuff. Abortion — at any point — was wrong. It was so clear. Painfully clear.” A year later, she decided to leave behind lesbianism and become an evangelical Christian. On August 8th, 1995, Benham of Operation Rescue baptized her in a backyard swimming pool on national television. Three years later she reverted to the Catholic Faith through the influence of Fr. Pavone. He confirmed Norma in 1998. Norma McCorvey was one of the most important people for the pro-abortion cause.
"I don't believe in abortion even in an extreme situation. If the woman is impregnated by a rapist, it's still a child. You're not to act as your own God," she said in 1998.
Born in 1947, McCorvey had a troubled childhood. Her father abandoned her family. Her mother was an alcoholic. She went to live with her cousin, who she claimed regularly raped her. At 16, she got married, but left her husband because he abused her. She moved back in with her mother and gave birth to her first child when she was 18. Her mother tricked her into signing papers giving her mother custody of the child and then kicked her out of the house.She had a second child, which she voluntarily placed for adoption. At 21, she was living with her father and working and became pregnant a third time. Some friends advised her to claim she had been gang raped in order to qualify for an exception in Texas’ anti-abortion laws. McCorvey was referred to two attorneys who were looking for a pregnant woman seeking an abortion in order to challenge Texas’ abortion laws. She repeated her lie to them that she had been gang raped. They decided to pursue the case with her. She started working in an abortion clinic herself. In 1994, she published an autobiography telling her story called I Am Roe. She wrote of the Influence of Fr. Pavone, writing, “I listened to him [Fr. Pavone] and came to realize that what God was actually saying to me was to ‘come ALL the way home to Him’ in His Church— the Church Jesus Christ Himself founded, the Mother church.” At an evangelical church in Waco, Texas, she announced she had decided to convert to Catholicism. McCorvey received Confirmation and her first Holy Communion on August 17, 1998.