DALLAS, Texas (CBS News) — Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died Saturday. She was 69.
McCorvey died at an assisted living center in Katy, Texas, journalist Joshua Prager confirmed to CBS News. He is working on a book about McCorvey and was with her and her family when she died. He said she died of heart failure.
McCorvey was 22, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time when in 1969 she sought to have an abortion in Texas, where the procedure was illegal except to save a woman’s life. The subsequent lawsuit, known as Roe v. Wade, led to Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that established abortion rights, though by that time, McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption.
Decades later, McCorvey underwent a conversion, becoming an evangelical Christian and joining the anti-abortion movement. A short time later, she underwent another religious conversion and became a Roman Catholic.