Norma McCorvey is primarily known as “Jane Roe” from the U.S. Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the country. McCorvey, who never had an abortion, was employed at several abortion facilities.
Her conversion to the pro-life side occurred while she was working at a clinic in Dallas, Texas. A group of pro-life activists moved in next door to the clinic in order to reach out to abortion-minded women. They befriended McCorvey, and with their encouragement, she converted to Christianity and left the abortion business.
This is all documented in Norma McCorvey’s 1997 book entitled “Won by Love: Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade Speaks Out for the Unborn as She Shares her New Conviction for Life.”
Some of the most disturbing parts of the book are her descriptions of the conditions in the centers where she worked.
On page 13 of “Won by Love,” McCorvey writes (see footnote one below):
I worked in several abortion facilities over the years. In fact, I even worked at two clinics at the same time, and they were all the same with respect to the condition of the facilities and the “counseling” the women receive.
She writes about one particular facility (see footnote two):
I started working at the A – Z clinic in January, 1995, and it was a health disaster waiting to happen. If the owner had not closed it down, eventually even the government would have been forced to do it. Light fixtures hung out of the ceiling; falling plaster dusted everyone who walked by…We fought an ongoing, and losing, battle with the rat population…Every morning we found rat droppings all over the clinic.
Sinks were backed up- in a reputed medical clinic no less- and blood splatters stained the walls. The “parts room” where we kept the aborted babies was particularly heinous. No one liked to be in there to do their business, much less to clean the place, and since no patients were allowed back there, it was pretty much left to ruin. If a baby didn’t make it into a bucket, that was too bad; it was left to lay there.
Other babies were stacked like cordwood once every body part had been accounted for…the room smelled awful. We used Pine Sol because of its strong antiseptic smell, but within hours the cleaning mixture was overpowered by the smell of medical waste and rot- which explains why the rats were so eager to visit us every night.
The floor of the clinic invited contamination. It was covered by an old, gold and brown shag rug. At least I think it was gold and brown- no one really knew for sure, since the rug had not been cleaned in a long time.
Hard as it is to believe, this clinic was operating legally. The conditions at A – Z were as disgusting and horrific as can be imagined in any back alley. And the conditions there were made possible by the fact that abortion clinics were not inspected regularly.
Pro-abortion activists continue to oppose any laws that would require clinics to meet basic health and safety standards. This paves the way for substandard clinics to operate legally for long periods of time. It would be almost impossible to believe that such a clinic could, in fact, be operating like this as late as 1995 – but similar conditions have been documented in clinics even more recently.
In Kansas, in 2005, police officer William Howard, Jr. was with others who raided a clinic operated by abortionist Dr. Krishna Rajanna. Conditions in the facility were so horrific that this police officer, who had seen all kinds of disturbing things in his career, was shocked. He said:
Trash was everywhere and roaches crawling across the countertops, with a smell of stench in the room. My partner observed the procedure room was filthy; he told me he saw dried blood on the floor and the room looked nasty to him. In a statement to me, one witness related how Rajanna was a filthy man who did not properly sterilize his equipment.
In a notarized affidavit, the detective said: (3)
There was an unfamiliar type stench in the room. Frankly, I was reluctant to sit down… Bear in mind, I am an experienced police officer who has worked in every aspect in law enforcement and had spent my last five years in the homicide unit where I worked countless community deaths. I thought I had heard and seen every vile, disgusting crime scene but was in for a new shock when I started this investigation.
In some states, tanning salons and pizzerias are required to be licensed and inspected; however, abortion facility are not.
Women’s Medical Services in Muskegon, Michigan, was closed in December of 2012 when fire marshals found terrible conditions there, as well. The fire department report, which includes citations for “unsterilized medical equipment,” “combustible materials stored near ignition sources,” and “hazardous materials not stored in cabinets,” understates the condition the clinic was discovered. You can see pictures of this filthy clinic here.
In 2011, LifeNews ran an article about a Allentown, Pennsylvania, clinic that had violations, such as “surgical instruments, considered ready for patient use, had an accumulation of brown debris in the hinge areas and brown staining on the inside of the packages,” and “metal vaginal speculums, considered ready for patient use, were stored, unwrapped, in drawers containing dust, dirt, debris, and hair.”
Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” is also good example of what can happen when facilities go uninspected and unregulated for long periods of time.
After McCorvey left A-Z Women’s Center— in fact, just four years after Won by Love’s publication—Lou Ann Herron, an abortion patient, died at A-Z Women’s Center. Christina Dunigan at RealChoice has details :
According to RealChoice, after the abortion on Herron, the following occurred:
Two medical assistants testified that Lou Ann was very frightened about her condition as she lay in recovery. She begged, they said, to know what was wrong with her. She cried out in pain as she lay in a puddle of blood for three hours. Biskind [her abortionist] fixed her IV (complaining that there was no qualified nurse on staff to do this), reassured her, and left the building at around 3:45 p.m.
Clinic administrator Carole Stuart-Schadoff had a staffer page Biskind 25 minutes later when Lou Ann’s condition worsened. Biskind did not return to the clinic, but told staff to call 911.
Prosecutors estimate that by the time paramedics were summoned, Lou Ann had lost 2 to 3 liters of blood.
When the rescue crew arrived, Phoenix fire captain Brian Tobin Tobin testified, Lou Ann was wearing an oxygen mask, but had not been intubated. There was also no IV in place. “I very quickly felt that there wasn’t a lot of competent medical care going on at the time,” he said.
Nobody at the clinic seemed aware of how grave her condition was, he said, and nobody seemed to be helping her in any way.
Incidentally, one of the clinic regulations opposed by abortion advocates in Texas may have saved Herron’s life. The Texas law requires abortion doctors to stay in the clinic until all patients have been discharged.
It is sad that this facility was allowed to operate in such terrible conditions until a woman died.
Note: A clinic called A – Z Women’s Center is now open in Las Vegas, Nevada. Whether this clinic has any affiliation with the now closed A-Z clinic I wrote about above I couldn’t determine. It received 2 ½ stars in reviews on Yelp.
- Norma McCorvey and Gary Thomas Won by Love: Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade Speaks Out for the Unborn as She Shares her New Conviction for Life. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997) 13
- McCorvey 6-7
- Detective William Howard Jr. Kansas City. Kansas Police Department Eyewitness Testimony of Officer, House Committee on Health and Humices , March 15, 2005