AKA Jane Roe brilliantly exposes the hypocrisies found in the pro-life and pro-choice movements. The name “Jane Roe” is familiar to most because of the landmark Supreme Court case, but very few know the details about this “Jane” or Norma McCorvey as she’s known in the real world. Nick Sweeny’s documentary doesn’t attempt to take sides and somewhat shows how both sides of this debate played McCorvey. That’s not to say McCorvey didn’t manipulate these sides either. What’s shocking is how over the years following Roe v Wade, is she was reduced to no more than a pawn in this game.
McCorvey was more a symbol than an actual person to these individuals. The only reason she was selected in the first place as the perfect person to challenge the countries abortion laws is that she fits a specific demographic (single and had told others that she’d been raped, which was later debunked). This is clearly explained in the documentary. McCorvey even let’s slip that many might be shocked to know that she’s never had an abortion herself. At times, one of the most famous “Jane’s” ever in legal history even profited from being a pro-life advocate. The icing on the cake for McCorvey was how accepting they of her sexual preference as they welcomed her girlfriend, Connie, with open arms.
The shocking twist in McCorvey’s life wasn’t what lead to her becoming a pro-life advocate. What floored me was to what length the pro-life movement went to bring her to their side. They indeed viewed her presence at pro-life rallies as a threat and managed to buy her loyalty. The cost was substantial, as is shown in the tax documents showcased during the documentary. The personal toll on McCorvey was even more significant than the nearly 500,000 dollars she seemingly made annually being a pro-life advocate. Her relationship had to change from an affectionate on to a more platonic one with Connie so she would be entirely accepted by the people who made up these pro-life organizations. This change certainly seemed to strain their lives. Norma was living a lie on both fronts (professionally and personally).
In the end, AKA Jane Roe doesn’t vindicate any side of the debate. If anything, it shows the impersonal nature of each cause. It’s not about people or even children to these sides; it’s about winning. If I’m wrong, then explain why Norma was even asked to be “Jane Roe” to begin with? If I’m out of line, then tell why the pro-life movement bought her loyalty? These points are not hearsay. They are confirmed through documentation and first-person accounts from both sides. If anything, this shows the lack of humanity in these discussions currently and how we all should reevaluate our current discourse.