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If an average woman feels guilty about an abortion, due at least in part to numerous negative and pervasive cultural influences -- including those which both idealize motherhood and which demonize abortion -- but largely interpersonal or very immediate messages and influence, how might an "average" woman feel if at least half a nation, in 1973, made her the poster child as the most known "babykiller" of all time, and she was since held historically in that regard? How might any one woman in that huge spotlight be affected, especially someone like McCorvey who was certainly more disenfranchised than most "average" women: a ninth-grade dropout, without skills, a rape and abuse survivor (though she has since recanted that claim) with a history of substance abuse?
I put this out there, because Norma McCorvey's more recent activities over the last decade, her pro-life push to have Roe Vs. Wade overturned, are often brought to my attention as something I should talk about and publicize, as it was a few times this past week.
But the truth of the matter is that I find it incredibly difficult not to feel tremendous sympathy for her -- ironic, really, since no matter her stance, part of the toughie with Roe V. Wade was that so few people were able to find her sympathetic. That appears to still be the case, even when she's playing for the other team.
Norma McCorvey, to me, even in her antiabortion "ministry," is about the most perfect example I can find as to why not only must abortion be legal, but why choice -- ALL choices -- MUST be not merely tolerated, but actively supported. No one else should ever have to BE Jane Roe: no one should have been put through that trial -- in every sense of the word -- in the first place.
So, I'm saddened that McCorvey switched teams, as it were, some time ago. I'm even saddened that she still gets written off so easily now, despite the fact that I vehemently disagree with her and deeply angered with what she is doing and how she is attempting to do it. But I'm not surprised, just like I'm not surprised that she appears to remain, as she was back when, clearly someone who is massively conflicted and deeply wounded; someone who cannot find that there is a middle ground to all of this, and come to terms with the fact that it is never as simple as being proabortion or antiabortion, that choice ultimately isn't about abortion at all, but about women's agency and our sovereign right to decide what to do with our own bodies and reproductive systems, with our own lives and whatever life we may or may not choose to bring forth.
Ms. McCorvey herself got that right (though too late: for the unaware, McCorvey never did have nor has had an abortion, she gave the child she was pregnant with during the case up for adoption). No matter how she may feel about her choices or goals in retrospect, she has since had a freedom to make them, and has that freedom still so long as choice IS legal, that she has no right to seek to take that from all other U.S. women.