Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” in the 1973 United States Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, will speak in Isla Vista Theater on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
McCorvey will discuss the transition from pro-choice to her current pro-life beliefs, despite the pivotal role she played in legalizing abortion in the United States. In 1969, McCorvey unsuccessfully sought an illegal abortion in Texas, and ultimately ended up as the plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the state’s abortion law. The lawsuit was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and its decision legalized abortion in all 50 states.
In 1995, McCorvey publicly renounced her involvement in Roe v. Wade and announced her conversion to Christianity. In her book, Won By Love, published in 1998, McCorvey stated, “I’m 100 percent sold out to Jesus and 100 percent pro-life. No exceptions. No compromise.”
UCSB Veritas Forum, UCSB College Republicans, Knights of the Columbus Goleta Valley Council 5300 and Crusade for Life of Santa Barbara are sponsoring the event.
Paul Curzan, pro-life director of the Knights of Columbus said he hopes McCorvey’s views will affect the audience because of her past experiences.
“I know that people will be interested in hearing what she has to say and how her life has changed since the court decision,” he said. “We’re hoping we will be able to touch some hearts of people who support abortion. Maybe we can touch the hearts and change the minds in the process.”
Senior political science major and Campus Democrat member Scott Vernon said the majority of students at UCSB are pro-choice.
“[The sponsors] will not be able to impose their will on students. Most students, almost 85 percent at UCSB, support the women’s right to choose. I think they understand that a women has a right to make this decision herself,” he said.
Curzan said the event is means to educate and not to impose a belief system on the listeners.
“We know you can’t legislate people to believe a certain way,” he said. “We are just inviting people to come and listen and learn a few things about her life.”
McCorvey’s current stance on abortion should raise questions in her listeners, Vernon said.
“When you are the cause of something so great, you’re going to have a lot of people asking questions if you turn your back on that cause,” he said.
Junior political science major and College Republican John Kalinksi said students should take advantage of the opportunity to listen to McCorvey, regardless of their political beliefs.
“Her views have changed as she has become educated about the issue. It’s very interesting to see how her life can turn around because of her faith,” he said. “Whether or not you agree or disagree with her abortion beliefs, it is important to hear the story from someone that was the face of the movement.”