Attorney Gloria Allred and Norma McCorvey during a Pro Choice Rally, July 4, 1989 in Burbank, California.Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images
The woman whose conception was central to the Roe v. Wade ruling spoke out against the Supreme Court’s reversal.
Shelley Lynn Thornton told ABC News that she worries about what lies ahead.
“Too many times has a woman’s choice, voice and individual freedom been decided for her by others,” she said.
The woman whose conception sparked Roe v. Wade released a statement this week speaking out against the Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn the 1973 landmark case which previously protected federal abortion rights.
Shelley Lynn Thornton, the biological daughter of Norma McCorvey, who used the pseudonym “Jane Roe” during litigation, told ABC News on Monday that she worries the SCOTUS ruling could portend future disquiet.
“Too many times has a woman’s choice, voice and individual freedom been decided for her by others. Being that I am bound to the center of Roe v. Wade, I have a unique perspective on this matter specifically,” Thornton told the outlet via a spokesperson.
“I believe that the decision to have an abortion is a private, medical choice that should be between a woman, her family, and her doctor,” she added. “We have lived in times of uncertainty and insecurity before, but to have such a fundamental right taken away and this ruling be overturned concerns me of what lies ahead.”
Thornton’s identity was unknown for decades following Roe v. Wade, but she came forward last year and identified herself as the baby at the heart of the case. McCorvey never had the abortion she was fighting for as litigation in the case lasted long after she had given birth and subsequently given her child up for adoption.
In a 2021 article in The Atlantic, as well as journalist Joshua Prager’s book “The Family Roe: An American Story,” Thornton opened up about her life after finding out she was the child at the center of Roe. She said knowing she was supposed to be terminated had affected her mental health, making her anxious and depressed. But she also said that she didn’t want to be used as an anti-abortion symbol.
“I guess I don’t understand why it’s a government concern,” Thornton told The Atlantic.
McCorvey died from heart failure at the age of 69 in 2017.
Thornton’s statement echoed similar comments made by Melissa Mills, the eldest daughter of McCorvey. Mills told CNN that her mother would be “devastated” by the Supreme Court’s Friday decision.
“I was in disbelief. I was devastated,” Mills said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I knew it was coming, but it was just too real that it really happened.”
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