LAST UPDATED JANUARY 15, 2021
Last week, the world watched in horror as a pro-Trump mob, urged by the President himself, attacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Thousands of angry people, rushed the Capitol building, overwhelming the law enforcement officers who were staged outside. They smashed windows and broke down doors; thousands of them flooded into the Capitol building itself. For several hours, they occupied congressional offices and triumphantly paraded through the House and Senate floors, wreaking havoc and calling for violence against and death for politicians and police officers, alike. By the end of the seditious melee, five people were dead.
One of the people there was John Brockhoeft, who posted online about his presence at the Capitol. Brockhoeft isn’t just any Trump supporter. He’s also a convicted anti-abortion terrorist.
It’s no coincidence several “pro-life” activists were in DC last week.
BECCA ANDREWS, Mother Jones
Jan 14, 2021
A week after the violent insurrection at the Capitol, we’re learning more and more about the people who charged the building. And recent reporting from Vice, Jezebel, and others reveal there were quite a few anti-abortion extremists at the pro-Trump rally, if not in the Capitol afterward as well. You’re probably thinking, hmm, ok, that makes sense—and it does! But the overlap of these universes cannot simply be boiled down to the fact that Trump supporters are more likely to strongly oppose abortion.
The violence we saw at the Capitol—and the inflammatory rhetoric and disinformation that led up to it—in fact mirrors what’s been plaguing the debate around abortion for several years.
Racism and xenophobia have been woven into the anti-abortion movement for decades, despite the careful curation of its public image.
By Alex DiBranco
(posted online January 8, 2021)
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
The anti-abortion movement in the United States has long been complicit with white supremacy. In recent decades, the movement mainstream has been careful to protect its public image by distancing itself from overt white nationalists in its ranks. Last year, anti-abortion leader Kristen Hatten was ousted from her position as vice president of the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists after identifying as an “ethnonationalist” and sharing white supremacist alt-right content. In 2018, when neo-Nazis from the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) sought to join the local March for Life rally organized by Tennessee Right to Life, the anti-abortion organization rejected TWP’s involvement. (The organization’s statement, however, engaged in the same false equivalency between left and right that Trump used in the wake of fatal white supremacist violence at Charlottesville. “Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.)
Religious, pro-abortion-rights voices were not always so rare.
Dec 31, 2020
When the Democratic Senate candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock tweeted that he was a “pro-choice pastor,” backlash arrived within minutes. Conservative commentators including Ben Shapiro and Erick Erickson lined up to mock Warnock. A group of conservative Black ministers recently sent Warnock a letter asking him to reconsider his position. Representative Doug Collins, a Republican and an ordained Southern Baptist minister, called the tweet “a lie from the bed of hell.”
In this brief and explosive incident, one of the most significant dynamics of America’s abortion politics was laid bare: the seeming invisibility of pro-choice religious voices. It’s not that pro-choice faith leaders such as Warnock aren’t out there. It’s that, for decades, they’ve been losing the fight for the spotlight.
Recently, Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler sat down with Nursing Clio to talk about her new book, Abortion and the Law in America: Roe v. Wade to the Present. The book illustrates how the question of “abortion rights” is only one piece of the puzzle – rather both antiabortion and pro-choice advocates have spent decades in a tug-of-war over policy, funding issues, and larger questions about public health. As Ziegler carefully demonstrates, these battles actually deepened political polarization on abortion and have shaped the debate in increasingly intractable ways. Her interview with Nursing Clio editor Lauren MacIvor Thompson has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Lauren: Your book does such a wonderful job laying out the legal landscape of the complex history of abortion. What drove your narrative and organization of the book?
What Norma McCorvey Believed Matters
The original plaintiff behind Roe v. Wade is more than just a symbol in the abortion rights debate.
Mary Ziegler, The Atlantic
May 31, 2020
Last weekend, FX premiered AKA Jane Roe, a documentary on Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade. Backers of the film touted its most explosive revelation—that McCorvey, Jane Roe herself, had converted to the anti-abortion cause only because she was getting paid. This news made waves, and the attention it received has raised, in turn, a bigger question: Why does it matter at all what she really thought about abortion?
The constitutional-law expert Michael Dorf has argued that it doesn’t—or at least that clashing social movements have blown its significance way out of proportion. He contends that when it comes to the ultimate fate of abortion rights, McCorvey’s beliefs matter very little.
How the Anti-Abortion Movement Is Responding to Jane Roe’s “Deathbed Confession”
By Ruth Graham
May 22, 2020
The pro-life movement has always loved a conversion story. People who reject their former lives working for pro-choice causes are some of the most prominent voices in the movement, and the existence of abortion regret—a woman changing her mind after it’s too late—is a key legislative and rhetorical tactic. So when the real-life “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade announced two decades after that landmark Supreme Court case that she had realized abortion ought to be illegal after all, she became an instant star within the pro-life movement.
A bombshell documentary airing Friday night on FX adds a final shocking twist to Norma McCorvey’s ideologically eventful life. In AKA Jane Roe, McCorvey offers what she calls a “deathbed confession”: Actually, she was basically pro-choice all along and only became a pro-life activist for the money.
Roe v Wade plaintiff admits abortion rights reversal ‘was all an act’ in new film
Norma McCorvey, known as Jane Roe, reveals she was paid by evangelical Christian groups to take anti-abortion stance
Kenya Evelyn in Washington
Tue 19 May 2020
Norma McCorvey, most notable for being the plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the 1973 landmark supreme court case Roe v Wade that led to abortion becoming legal in the United States, made a stunning admission just before her death in 2017, it has emerged.
“This is my deathbed confession,” she explained.
Jane Roe’s Deathbed Confession: Anti-Abortion Conversion ‘All an Act’ Paid for by the Christian Right
The new FX documentary “AKA Jane Roe,” out May 22, contains a shocking revelation: Roe (of “Roe v. Wade” fame) played the part of an anti-abortion crusader in exchange for money.
Cassie da Costa, Entertainment Writer
Published May. 19, 2020
In its final 20 minutes, the documentary film AKA Jane Roe delivers quite the blow to conservatives who have weaponized the story of Jane Roe herself—real name, Norma McCorvey—to argue that people with uteruses should have to carry any and all pregnancies to term.
McCorvey, who died in 2017, became Jane Roe when, as a young homeless woman, she was unable to get a legal or safe abortion in the state of Texas. Her willingness to lend her experience to the legal case for abortion led to the passing of Roe v. Wade in 1973, which legalized abortions in all 50 states (though red states do all they can to get around this; recently, several have even used the COVID-19 pandemic to make abortions functionally impossible to procure). But conservatives had a field day in the mid-‘90s when the assertive, media-savvy pro-choice advocate and activist McCorvey became an anti-abortion born-again ex-gay Christian with the help of leaders of the evangelical Christian right, Reverend Flip Benham (of the infamous Operation Rescue) and Reverend Rob Schenck. A conservative film, Roe v. Wade, starring Jon Voight and Stacey Dash, will dramatize McCorvey’s “conversion.”
The woman behind ‘Roe vs. Wade’ didn’t change her mind on abortion. She was paid
By Meredith BlakeStaff Writer
May 19, 2020
When Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case, came out against abortion in 1995, it stunned the world and represented a huge symbolic victory for abortion opponents: “Jane Roe” had gone to the other side. For the remainder of her life, McCorvey worked to overturn the law that bore her name.
But it was all a lie, McCorvey says in a documentary filmed in the months before her death in 2017, claiming she only did it because she was paid by antiabortion groups including Operation Rescue.