Norma McCorvey was unmarried and unemployed when she became pregnant for the third time at age 22. It was 1969, and it was illegal to have an abortion in Texas, where she lived.
Soon after, McCorvey became a national symbol for the abortion rights movement. For years she was known simply as Jane Roe, the plaintiff from one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in history: Roe v. Wade.
In 1995, McCorvey returned to the national spotlight as an evangelical Christian and a vocal opponent of abortion rights. Her religious conversion, however, may not have been fueled by faith but instead by opportunity. McCorvey was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Operation Rescue, now known as Operation Save America, according to a documentary premiering Friday on FX and Saturday on Hulu. The modern Operation Rescue is a different organization opposing abortion rights.
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Directed by Nick Sweeney, the film, "AKA Jane Roe," traces McCorvey's dramatic journey from pro-abortion rights hero to anti-abortion rights advocate and back again, framing her as a mercenary who wanted to make amends through a "death bed confession."
"I was the big fish," McCorvey says in the documentary. "I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money, and they put me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say, and that's what I'd say."
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