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'Jane Roe' Offered Up a Shocking 'Deathbed Confession'

Roe v. Wade plaintiff turned anti-abortion later in life—but it 'was all an act'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2020 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – "Jane Roe," the plaintiff in landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, died in 2017 at age 69. But a documentary on the life of the woman whose real name is Norma McCorvey reveals that shortly before her death, she made what she referred to as a "deathbed confession" to the filmmakers. Following her role in the 1973 Supreme Court case, which centered around her inability to get an abortion in Texas, McCorvey recanted her pro-choice stance and became an anti-abortion activist. But, she reveals in AKA Jane Roe, that "was all an act." Ultra-conservative groups, she said, paid her to make the infamous reversal, the Guardian reports.

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"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," she says in the documentary, which premieres Friday on FX. "I did it well, too. I'm a good actress," she says, per the Daily Beast. McCorvey reportedly received at least $456,000 from the anti-abortion movement. "Wow," Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, retweeting an LA Times editor who called the revelation "something of a bombshell." Those words, plus others including "shocking," abound on Twitter commentary about the subject. But the head of Priests For Life, who claims to have been close to McCorvey for decades, tells Catholic News Agency that "there was no indication whatsoever, at the end of her life" that she had recanted her pro-life views. (Read more Roe v. Wade stories.)

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