Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, reshaping the nation’s social and political landscapes and inflaming one of the most divisive controversies of the past half-century, died on Saturday in Katy, Tex. She was 69.
Her death, at an assisted-living home, was confirmed by Joshua Prager, a New York journalist who is writing a book about the Roe v. Wade decision and had interviewed her extensively. He said the cause was heart failure.
Since the ruling, perhaps 50 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States, although later court decisions and new state and federal laws have imposed restrictions, and abortions have declined with the wide use of contraceptives. Theological, ethical and legal debates about abortion continue in religious circles, governing bodies and political campaigns, and they have influenced elections, legislation and the lives of ordinary people through films, books, periodicals, the internet and other forums.
Her early life had been a Dickensian nightmare. Her mother, Mary, was physically abusive. Her brother, Jimmy, was mentally ill. Her father, Olin, a TV repairman, was often away and then just disappeared. Norma followed suit and was sent to a Catholic boarding school and then, after minor brushes with the law, reform school. To escape, she married at 16, then divorced and was left pregnant three times by three different men.
Ms. McCorvey gave up her children at birth as she was not interested in motherhood. Bisexual but primarily lesbian, she sought refuge from poverty and dead-end jobs in alcohol and drugs. At 22 and pregnant again, she joined the abortion rights struggle and took her case all the way to the Supremes. on Jan. 22, 1973, the court ruled 7-2 in Roe v. Wade (Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney, was the defendant in the class-action suit) that privacy rights under the due process and equal rights clauses of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion in a pregnancy’s first trimester “free of interference by the state.”
On Jan. 22, 1973, the court ruled 7-2 in Roe v. Wade (Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney, was the defendant in the class-action suit) that privacy rights under the due process and equal rights clauses of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion in a pregnancy’s first trimester “free of interference by the state.” She never did get the abortion and delivered a boy; he like the others, promptly went up for adoption.
Chief Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the opinion and rejected the view, that a fetus becomes a “person” upon conception and is thus entitled to the due process and equal protection guarantees. Blackmun was also against the use of the death penalty.
When Ms. McCorvey emerged from anonymity a decade later, strangers shrieked “baby killer” and spat at her. There were death threats. One night, shotgun blasts shattered the windows of her home. And then she found God and repudiated her past, going as far to get the decision reversed; the Court said No.
Ms. MocCorvey has a very public Southern chart, basically a bucket with a Moon Handle in the Second House of Resources, that for her was her fertility, as that is what propelled her into the spotlight of the abortion vs. pro-life discussion. Her Ascendant at a critical degree, 28.02 Scorpio suggests that she has a dramatic personality that tends to illuminate issues. The Sabian Symbol poignantly suggests,
Her Ascendant at a critical degree, 28.02 Scorpio suggests that she has a dramatic personality that illuminates issues and the Sabian Symbol poignantly suggests , An Indian Squaw pleading to the chief about the lives of her children. Marc Edmund Jones assigns the keyword Effectiveness, and if ever there was a woman who effectively pled her cause, it was she.
The other point in her map is (1) marked by the black square for the North Node at her current time of death, and (2) her native north node characterized in pink. We are highlighting this as it shows the potency of the Nodes being activated at the time of death. For Ms. McCorvey, the current black North Node also is conjunct Mars, that suggests a death from heart disease/failure. That Mars is also sextile to her native node, often an indicator of heart disease.
She has mainly things that are also interesting, & we leave them you to ponder, but Pluto in her ninth, square her Chiron in her twelfth is striking.
RIP, Ms. McCorvey.