Jane Roe, Norma McCovey and Gloria Allred

Her lawyer Gloria Allred on the left; Ms. McCorvey in the center, at a rally to support abortion rights in Washington in 1989. Credit Ron Galella/WireImage

The Backstory

Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, reshaping the nation’s social and political landscapes and inflaming one of the most divisive controversies of the past half-century, died on Saturday in Katy, Tex. She was 69.   Her death, at an assisted-living home, was confirmed by Joshua Prager, a New York journalist who is writing a book about the Roe v. Wade decision and had interviewed her extensively. He said the cause was heart failure, her eighth house with the ruler Mars residing confirms.

Since the ruling, perhaps 50 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States, although later court decisions and new state and federal laws have imposed restrictions, and abortions have declined with the wide use of contraceptives. Theological, ethical and legal debates about abortion continue in religious circles, governing bodies and political campaigns, with Democrats staunchly pro-Choice and Republicans pro-Life.

Norma’s early life was brutal. Her mother, Mary, was physically abusive and her brother, Jimmy, was mentally ill so provided no sibling support. Her father, Olin, a TV repairman, was often away and then one day just disappeared.  Unhappy at home, Norma was  sent to a Catholic boarding school and then, after minor brushes with the law,  reform school.  To escape,  she married at 16, then divorced finding marriage unattractive.    Pregnant, she gave the baby up for adoption.

Ms. McCorvey gave up her children at birth as she was not interested in motherhood. Bisexual but primarily lesbian, she sought refuge from poverty and dead-end jobs in alcohol and drugs.  At 22 and pregnant again, she joined the abortion rights struggle and took her case all the way to the Supreme Court. On Jan. 22, 1973, the court ruled 7-2 in Roe v. Wade (Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney, was the defendant in the class-action suit) that privacy rights under the due process and equal rights clauses of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion in a pregnancy’s first trimester “free of interference by the state.”

Chief Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the opinion and rejected the view, that a fetus becomes a “person” upon conception and entitled to the due process and equal protection guarantees.  Blackmun was also against the use of the death penalty.  When Ms. McCorvey emerged from anonymity a decade later, strangers shrieked “baby killer” and spat at her. There were death threats. One night, shotgun blasts shattered the windows of her home.  And then she found God and repudiated her past, going as far to trying to get the decision reversed; the Court said No.

                           Norma McCovey aka Jane Roe’s Chart

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Ms. McCorvey has a very public Southern chart, basically a bucket with a Moon Handle in the Second House of Resources, that for her was her fertility, as that propelled her into the spotlight of the abortion vs. pro-life discussion.  Her Ascendant is at a critical degree, 28.02 Scorpio suggests that she has a dramatic personality that illuminates issues. The Sabian Symbol poignantly suggests,  An Indian Squaw pleading to the chief about the lives of her children.  Marc Edmund Jones assigns the keyword Effectiveness, and if ever there was a woman who effectively pled her cause, it was she.

Ms. Nelson has a preponderance of sextiles in her chart, again supporting our rectification for 10:37 AM in Simmesport, Louisiana, because sextile all about others helping you one way or another.  It may their help leads you down a blind alley but it may also help you out of that alley; all things in astrology as in most of life, have equal reactions to one’s actions.

She has a  preponderance of three planets  in the eleventh house, reasserting how public a life this woman led, and with Mercury far behind her Sun, her Mental Chemistry is “inward.”  Her desires and activities were self-directed.  She was not interested in making abortion for all, and she stated that to her lawyers many times, but wanted one for herself.  They seeing a chance to get abortion nationalized led her along and promised she would get one.  That never happened and once again, Norma carried the child, a boy this time after two girls, to term and gave it up again for adoption.  The Asteroid Nemesis shows how that legal decision, Mercury, plagued her life and later when she was sorry, there was nothing she could do.  Jupiter conjuncts her South Node aka the Dragon’s Tail,  supports this unfortunate circumstance, as this aspect forces their natives to surrender themself for a greater cause for their spiritual growth and that too came to pass for Miss McCovey.