HOUSTON, Texas — A Texas woman who was the “Jane Roe” in the 1973 abortion case of Roe v. Wade died in a Katy assisted living facility on Saturday.
Although Norma McCorvey, her real name, became famous for the part she played in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, she became a born-again Christian and spoke out against abortion.
“Texas Right to Life was honored to work alongside Ms. McCorvey for years,” Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life told Breitbart Texas. “Jim and I were so blessed to work with her during the last decades of her life on pro-life causes.”
Graham added, “Much later, she realized she was just a pawn in the system.”
Graham said it was important to note that McCorvey never had an abortion, saying she “choose life instead.”
“We are saddened to hear of Norma’s passing, yet we are eternally grateful for her courageous pro-life witness that she fully embraced,” said Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz. “I had the honor of interacting with her over the years and I know she can now rest safely in the arms of our Lord.”
Her death, reported by the Washington Post early Saturday afternoon, was confirmed by Joshua Prager. Prager is a journalist who has been working on a book on the historic Supreme Court decision that has sparked decades of debate over abortion rights.
The defendant in the case, “Wade” was then-Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade.
She reportedly died from a heart ailment in an assisted-living facility in Katy, a suburb of Houston.
The Washington Post reported:
Ms. McCorvey was a complicated protagonist in a legal case that became a touchstone in the culture wars, celebrated by champions as an affirmation of women’s freedom and denounced by opponents as the legalization of murder of the unborn.
When she filed suit in 1970, she was looking not for a sweeping ruling for all women from the highest court in the land, but rather, simply, the right to legally and safely end a pregnancy that she did not wish to carry forward. In her home state of Texas, as in most other states, abortion was prohibited except when the mother’s life was at stake.
On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its historic 7-to-2 ruling, written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, articulating a constitutional right to privacy that included the choice to terminate a pregnancy.
Since the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case, approximately 50 million legal abortions have been estimated to have been performed in the United States, according to the New York Times.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with additional information.