BY REBECCA GRACE
Silence spoke valli mes on aplayground
one hot slimmer day in Dallas. Texas. Still
swings. Motionless merry-go*rounds. No
laughing or singing .
.. no children.
as her soul had been for the first three
decades of her life. But just as a gentle
breeze began pushing a lonely swing, the
Lord began stirring the heart of Norma
McCorvey, also known as jane
the 1973 Supreme Court case
that legalized abortion in
A voice deep inside her kept whisper-
your fault, Norma.
the reason this playground - and play-
grounds all across this country -
she wrote in her autobiography
Wall By Love.
McCorvey's "Jane Roe" signature on
the dotted line of an affidavit made her
tJle plaintiff in a landmark case that [01'·
ever changed the lives of millions .
Sliding back to the beginning
1969 McCorvey was 22 years old,
divorced and pregnant for the third time.
All she wanted was to get rid ofher "prod-
uct of conception," but a state law limited
Poor and uneducated, she
Who better to turn to than two young
lawyers who were ready to conquer the
world by giving women the right to con-
trol their own bodies?
Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee
were seeking to overturn the Texas statue
that outlawed abortion, and they needed
a desperate and believable plaintiff. Preg-
but her story needed to be more plausible.
Therefore, McCorvey and the attorneys
told the court that her pregnancy was
the result of a gang rape. So, she
"needed" an abortion,
deserved the right to choose - at
least she thought she did.
"On March 17, 1970, 1 signed
"And 1thought I was do-
ing something right; i thought
doing something good, and I
But before understanding her
realized Weddington and Coffee
wanted her signature more than
they wanted to help her. She was a
tough-talking, abrasive, alcoholic
drug user who worked many odd
jobs. She was a bartender, carni-
val barker, construction worker
and waitress, later living the les-