Norma McCorvey (b. 1947), U.S. speaker and Supreme Court case plaintiff. I Am Roe, ch. 10 (1994).
McCorvey was a reform school veteran, a lesbian, without money, and alone when, at twenty-one, she was impregnated with her third child during a brief heterosexual affair. Using the name "Jane Roe" to protect her privacy, she became the plaintiff in a historic court case, Roe v. Wade. It went to the U. S. Supreme Court and established women's right to abortion, which until then had been illegal in the United States. However, the decision was too late for McCorvey, who bore her child, surrendered it for adoption, and descended into a struggle with alcohol, drugs, and depression, from which she eventually emerged. The year after this book was published, McCorvey would express reservations about abortion and declare herself "pro- life."