HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) -
In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion. "Roe v. Wade was a monumental decision", says former congressman Chris Bell.
Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade later identified herself as Norma McCorvey. In 1969 McCorvey was 22 years old, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time. She wanted to have an abortion, but as a Texas resident was only legally allowed to get one if her pregnancy was life threatening.
A few years, many court session and well after the baby was born and put up for adoption the Supreme Court heard the case.
"It took a tremendous amount of courage for Norma McCorvey to stand up and be heard", says Bell.
"She was in the center of an issue in America that has been going on for 40 years, 50 years, it seems like forever", says former Harris County Republican Party chairman Gary Polland.
We’re told that McCorvey was a strong supporter of abortion until the 1990’s when she became Catholic and decided to switch stances on the issue.
"Think about what she went through, she was the poster child for liberalizing abortion laws in America and she decided after this was all done that abortion was really not a good thing", says Polland.
Former conservative and liberal representatives say McCorvey is an example of women who may change opinions over time and that she should be respected for either stance.
"Obviously there are people with very strong views on both sides and I think people should be respectful of those views and given the way her views evolved over time I think she really stands for a reminder of that", says Bell.
McCorvey is survived by her daughter and two grandchildren. She also had two other children who were put up for adoption.