McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. Norma
strives to spread the hope that is found in the conversion of one of
the abortion industry's biggest supporters - Jane Roe herself.
confession of Norma is told in her autobiographical book, Won
By Love, is primarily dedicated to spreading the message of
that now very unpopular woman. In Won By Love, Norma
essentially outlines the hope that all of us can be won by love in the
attempt at creating a culture focused on life.
Won By Love
An excerpt from
A Day in the Life
of Norma McCorvey
Getting it Done
After "counseling" we would lead the patient into the back room, where
she would typically wait for an hour or two, then we would take her to
an addressing room, where she would put on a surgical gown, but leave
her socks on. Then we'd help her up on the table, get her in position
and put her feet in the stirrups. Once the patient was settled, we hit
her with about 40 percent nitrous oxide. Though I have received no
medical training, I routinely performed this function (as well as other
medical acts, such as drawing blood). Most abortionists do not want to
spend the money to pay a specialist.
It takes about 10
minutes for the laughing gas to get into the bloodstream. After that, a
nurse comes in and numbs the woman's cervix with a small needle. Then
she would nod my way. My job was to talk to the women and get them to
relax. I would usually
resort to small
talk. "Do you ski"" I'd ask in winter. "A little bit," a timid voice
would reply. "I hear that Angel Fire had so much snow dumped this
morning that the skiing is great. Won't it be fun to get out there and
take a couple of runs real soon?" "Yeah. Great."
I would do
anything to get them to stay relaxed. When I saw them tense up, I'd
say, "Think about the nicest thing you've ever seen. Got it? Now tell
me about it." or "Tell me about the prettiest dress you've ever owned."
During this time the doctor is dilating the patient's cervix with his
instruments. He then begins scraping the uterus with an instrument that
looks like a tongue depressor-- those little wooden things doctors
stick in your throat when they ask you to say "aaahhh" Soon, a little
bit of blood begins to trickle out of the woman's body and the doctor
inserts a cannula--a medical tube--into the vaginal canal.
Often this was
the first time Arnie (the abortionist) would address the patient
directly. "Okay, machine may scare you. I have not talked to you
because Norma is here to talk to you for me. She is my representative.
If you have questions, talk to Norma."
woman would grab my hand—I earned to remove all my rings because many
of those young women were very strong. I tried not to wince, even when
their fingernails bit into my skin, drawing blood. The doctor turned
the machine on, the woman's boldly shook in rhythm with it, her legs
began to quiver and sometimes I had to hold her hops. If the woman was
a squirmier, I would have to restrain her. At least 80 percent of the
women would try to look down at the end of the table, wondering if they
cold see anything which is why our doctor always went in with the
scalpel first. Once the baby was already cut up, there was nothing but
blood and torn up tissue for the woman to see.
When a later
abortion was performed, workers had to piece the baby back together,
and every major part--head, torso, two legs, and two arms --had to be
accounted for. One of our little jokes at the clinic was, "If you ever
want to humble a doctor, hide a leg so he thinks he has to go back in."
Please understand, these were not abnormal, uncaring women working with
me at the clinic. We were just involved in a bloody, dehumanizing
business, all of us for our own reasons. Whether we were justifying our
past advocacy(as I was), justifying a previous abortion (as many were)
or whatever, we were just trying to cope--and if we couldn’t laugh at
what was going on, I think our minds would have snapped. It's not an
easy trying to confuse a conscience that will not stay dead.
began crying as soon as the machine was shut off. Our standard line
was, "Honey, you've just had fifteen milligrams of liquid Valium, and
it's only natural that you should feel so emotional. Don't worry. It'll
pass." We could never admit to the fact that she might be crying
because she realized what she had just done to her baby.
We then wheeled
the girl into recovery, put a pad on her, pulled the curtain to give
her some privacy, then checked vital signs: blood pressure and pulse.
Again, I was usually the one to do this.
More than once I
had a conversation with Arnie that went something like this. "She's ten
weeks, Arnie." "Norma, tell her she's twelve." I tried looking him in
the eye, but he avoided my stare. The difference between an abortion at
ten weeks and twelve weeks was a hundred dollars. Abortionists
routinely jack up the estimate of a baby’s a age because most women
simply won't argue about it--and even fewer would dare to solicit a
second, more informed opinion.
In this arena,
the abortionist is freer that any other physician. He controls both the
sonogram and the sonogram machine, and rarely has to confer with
another doctor or share his records. Since he is talking to women who
are almost universally uninformed about the mechanics of what he does,
it is child's play to cash in by inflating an unborn baby's age.
"You tell her." I
said. "I'm not gonna lie." I was not always cooperative. For example,
both Connie and I refused to reassemble the body parts after a
late-term abortion. It was bad enough having to seal the bags that held
them, but there was no way I was going to treat those bodies like
grotesque jigsaw puzzles.
Arnie once told me, "I will show you where to put the tissue." "Tissue"
was the code word for bodies in our clinic. We stored them in plastic
bags, which were kept in a freezer until they were picked up weekly. I
was not a newcomer to abortion clinics at that time but I was not about
to handle the bodies. "Sorry, Arnie, " I said, "I don't do that. I'll
scrub the floors. I'll make appointments. But Don't ask me to handle
the tissue." "Is okay," he argued. "I show you how to put in freezer.
"I walked in the back, more to shut up Arnie than to commit to handling
the bodies in the future. Besides I was feeling a little ashamed of
hard-core", I told myself. "You're Jane Roe. You can handle a couple of
plastic bags full of tissue. "
The Parts Room,
as we called it, was narrow, with washbasins on one side and medical
supplies on the other. Against one wall was a white freezer with the
lock broken off. Arnie lifted up a large plastic bag. The contents
looked similar to a cut-up chicken, with all the parts swimming in
blood, and I felt myself grow nauseous. Then I saw the back of a head
float by and I immediately vomited all over Arnie, the sink, and the
"Oh Norma," Arnie
complained, "I will have to go and clean myself again." He looked and
sighed. "You cannot do this?" he asked. I was white. I thought I might
throw up again. And he was asking me if I was sure I couldn't do this?
I shook my head. "No" "This is okay," he answered. "I will have Connie
do it." Connie also refused, so Arnie ended up piecing the bodies
together himself. At the beginning of each week, a service truck would
come by and pickup the body parts, which were taken to a lab.
All through the
week, the Parts Room became creepier and creepier. I never wanted to go
back there, especially at night. Sometimes I had to go back there to
fix the phone lines or get some supplies, and every time I would be
afraid that the freezer was going to open, reach out and grab me, and
pull me into its cold world, slamming shut. No, I was not losing my
mind; but when you work at an abortion clinic, you're guilty and you
For all the
millions spent on public relations, the abortion movement has yet to
invent rhetoric powerful enough to blind abortion clinic workers from
the truth. You see the body parts, you hear the women's cries, and you
can't keep lying to yourself--at least not without artificial
stimulation. That's why drugs, alcohol and coarse jokes are so popular
inside clinics. If we had stayed sober and not laughed at ourselves, we
would have begun to think of ourselves as hideous monsters preying on