US Abortion Legal Test Case: Woman Dies at 69

  • Norma McCorvey, the lady whose test case paved way for legalization of abortions in the United States, took her last breath on Saturday at the age of 69.

    Better known as plaintiff “Jane Roe” she was represented in the Roe v Wade case, that ended up being a landmark and controversial Supreme Court judgement in 1973.

    Her death, in a Texas care home, was confirmed by a journalist who was working on a book on the case.

    McCorvey was 22 when she became pregnant for the third time in 1969. Since abortion was not legal in her home state Texas, her case was taken up by attorneys Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, who were looking for an applicant to try the constitutionality of Texas’s abortion law.

    The case became a class-action suit, and the ruling articulated that the choice of terminating a pregnancy is protected by a constitutional right to privacy. 

    The suit actually bore little relevance to McCorvey herself as by the time the Supreme Court finally handed down its decision, her baby was two and a half years old. 

    Later, McCorvey became an evangelical Christian and ardent anti-abortion advocate. She once quoted that being part of the decision to legalise abortion "was the biggest mistake” of her life.

    She also unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.