03.05.2009 11:45 am
Norma McCorvey & Kathleen Sebelius
By: Sherry Tyree
Special to the Post-Dispatch
Norma McCorvey, best known as “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, wrote a book a few years ago, Won by Love. I was sent the book — autographed, too – when I made a donation to a pro-life cause.
Norma, who went from being the poster girl for abortion to becoming an adamant and outspoken pro-life speaker, tells the step-by-step tale of her journey in this well written, funny — yes, funny — poignant and thoroughly human chronicle.
As the story begins, Norma is working at an abortion clinic when she discovers to her horror that Operation Rescue has rented space next door…..
I’ve been thinking about Norma lately because of President Obama’s choice of Kathleen Sebelius, the Kansas Governor who wants the Health and Human Services post that Tom Daschle carelessly lost over neglected taxes.
Evidently President Obama is gambling that Catholic Governor Sebelius’ problems – her political support of the killing of innocent, unborn human life — are no big deal.
A New York Times article nicely outlines what Governor Sebelius’ predicament is:
Abortion may prove a lightning rod in her confirmation. Ms. Sebelius, a Catholic, has repeatedly vetoed abortion regulations on legal or policy grounds. “Personally, I believe abortion is wrong,” she wrote in one veto message before explaining that she did not think the bill would reduce late-term abortions.
Ms. Sebelius has defended her record by pointing to adoption initiatives and falling abortion rates in Kansas, but the archbishop of Kansas City last year said she should not receive communion until repudiating her support for abortion rights.
Anti-abortion leaders also criticize her for hosting a reception at the governor’s mansion in 2007 attended by George Tiller, a prominent Wichita abortion provider. At the time, Dr. Tiller was under investigation and now is about to go on trial for 19 misdemeanor charges of violating state restrictions on late-term abortions, according to news reports.
After her possible nomination became public, the Catholic League called her an “enemy of the unborn” and promised to fight confirmation. “We have the specter of another pro-abortion Catholic stiffing the Catholic Church,” Bill Donohue, the league president, said in a statement. “This is setting up a confrontation that pro-life Catholics will not walk away from.”
This morning we learned that Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann (originally from St. Louis) has written a column for his archdiocesan newspaper that will appear in tomorrow’s edition; to read it, click here.
In time we will learn whether or not the Senate will confirm Sebelius (probably yes) and perhaps whether or not she will present herself for Holy Communion. If she does not, she will not be the first high profile Catholic politician to refrain.
The larger question is this: does Governor Sebelius understand what she defends? Does she understand the scandal? Has she ever bothered to spend a good deal of time in an abortion clinic?
She would do well to read Norma McCorvey’s book. One Amazon reviewer of Won by Love has this to say:
…..Unquestionably the plot’s most fantastic twist occurs after Operation Rescue–the civil disobedience prolife group–moved in next door to the abortion clinic where Norma was working.
Despite opposite goals, Norma amazingly formed friendships with several Rescue staff members and one in particular who grew so trusting of the infamous foe that she actually let her eight year old daughter play under Jane Rose’s tutelage inside the clinic.
Were this book a work of fiction, most readers would slam it down in disgust at the farfetched contrivance in that chapter, but as the cliche goes, “truth is stranger…”
Obviously Norma’s story would be inchoate without a portion devoted to the horrors of the abortion trade, and from her days as an insider she possesses an armamentarium that far surpasses most right-to-life advocates.
She makes little effort to conceal her disdain for her clinic’s smarmy, avaricious abortionist–whom she never identifies beyond “Arnie,” and reveals an industry secret “that a disproportionate number of abortion doctors are actually from other countries–foreigners who perceive that our lax abortion laws create a tremendous moneymaking opportunity.”
Her contempt for this physician who was always barefoot in the office seems appropriate when she discusses how as his wife battled breast cancer, he moved a mistress into their home.
While he is the only abortionist profiled in the book, Norma’s implications are clear.
Referring to the reality of the work in an abortion clinic, Norma admits that on-the-job cocaine usage was commonplace among most workers (and honestly admits to frequent abuse of the drug herself) “drugs became a major tool to keep the peace; drugs got us through the day.”
Even abortion proponents should be outraged when she explains political pressure has resulted in a situation where “veterinary clinics have stricter regulations than abortion clinics…..”
Norma’s stories about abortion clinics and sordid abortionists are not unique. Tales about sleazy staff and practices abound.
What is unique is that this is Jane Roe talking.
Won by Love: a highly recommeded book for Kathleen Sebelius…and you.