A few thoughts about Norma McCorvey, famous for being the woman at the center of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs Wade decision on abortion. For years she was a force in the pro-abortion camp until her conversion to the Evangelical faith. Through her new faith she found peace and became active in Operation Rescue which advocated peaceful protests in front of abortion clinics.
In almost all the news accounts her story seems to end there but in 1995 Norma McCorvey was received into the Catholic Church. It was Father Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life that had the privilege of bringing her into the Faith.
Father Pavone wrote on the occasion of her death, “Despite the heaviness on her heart over the killing of some 58 million children since Roe vs. Wade, she always knew how to take the Lord's hand and let his grace lift her up. She experienced the Rachel's Vineyard retreat program to help heal her wounds (even though she never had an abortion herself), and she devoted herself in ways big and small to bring an end to the tragedy of abortion.
Friends, Norma's story will live on. It is a story of hope. If she can convert, and find forgiveness from her involvement with abortion, then anyone can. And if she could say one thing right now to the world, I'm convinced it would be, ‘Learn my story, and have hope.’"
Norma McCorvey had a very difficult life. She played a role in a decision that would mean the death of millions of children by abortion. In those years before her reception of Catholic faith she lived in a lesbian relationship. After her conversion she found a new path. Her conversion to the Evangelical Church led her to trust and love Jesus, to believe in His forgiveness. Her reception into the Catholic Church brought her into a deeper surrender to Christ and that mercy, opening new doors to God.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) was also a huge supporter and defender of abortion in the United States. He shocked the abortion movement by a complete turn-around of heart. He directed and narrated the film, The Silent Scream which contained ultrasound video of a mid-term (12 weeks) abortion. The film shocked the nation. In 1996 under the care of Father C. John McCloskey, he converted to the Catholic Church and became ever afterwards and until his death in 2011 a great advocate for life.
They came back from so much darkness and became great voices for life. They found solace and hope in and through their Catholic faith. May they both rest in peace. Fr Al.