WASHINGTON — Norma McCorvey loved the limelight. Better known as “Jane Roe,” her story was at the center of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide. At first, she was an abortion rights advocate, but, in a twist, she became a born-again Christian in 1995 and switched sides.
Now, three years after her death of heart failure at age 69, she’s making headlines again. In a documentary that was being released Friday, McCorvey says she was paid to speak out against abortion.
“This is my deathbed confession,” she says, chuckling as she breathes with the aid of oxygen during filming at a nursing home where she lived in Katy, Texas.
“I took their money and they put me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say,” she says in “AKA Jane Roe,” which premiered Friday on FX.
Asked whether it was an “all an act,” she responds: “Yeah.”
“I did it well, too. I am a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now,” she says in the documentary, which was filmed in 2016 and 2017.
As for her feelings on abortion, McCorvey says: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, fine. You know, it’s no skin off my ass. You know that’s why they call it choice. It’s your choice.”
Filmmaker Nick Sweeney said the documentary condensed hundreds of hours of film he shot over the last year of McCorvey’s life and that he hoped it gave her the chance to tell her own complex story.
“I like attention,” McCorvey acknowledged in the new documentary.