Norma McCorvey, known most famously as Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff in the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States, died Saturday at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Tex., the Washington Postreports.
Joshua Prager, a journalist currently working on a book about the Supreme Court case, confirmed the death to the Post.
McCorvey won the legal right to an abortion by a 7-2 vote in the Supreme Court. The decision opened the doors for women to have an abortion at any stage in their pregnancy, but also allowed states to regulate the procedure in women's second and third trimesters. This decision saved women from unsafe procedures. As of January, 59% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to the Pew Research Center.
Since McCorvey's Supreme Court victory, first-trimester abortion has become one of the safest medical procedures for women in the United States. The overwhelming majority of U.S. women who have the procedure don't regret it.
Though her case was responsible for making abortion legal nationwide, McCorvey eventually became an anti abortion-rights activist in 1995 and joined the anti-choice group Operation Rescue. She was baptized as a born-again Christian by the group's president Flip Benham.
"The heart of the person who most symbolized abortion in this country has been touched and captured, if you will," Bill Price, president of Texans United for Life, said, according to the New York Times.
McCorvey reportedly felt abandoned and unwelcome by leading pro-choice activists.
"She was shut out of many national pro-choice celebrations," Gloria Allred, an abortion-rights advocate who served as Ms. McCorvey's lawyer for several years, told the New York Times. "She attended but for the most part she was not invited and it was a very hurtful experience. It was very troubling and upsetting to her over the years."
See photos of Norma:
Norma McCorvey through the years
Norma McCorvey through the years
Norma McCorvey (L), the original Jane Roe in the Roe vs. Wade landmark abortion decision 25 years ago, addresses a group of teenagers at a pro-life convention in Chicago January 17. With McCorvey is Sandra Cano, another pro-life advocate whose name was once associated with pro-choice forces. McCorvey is now a 50-year-old grandmother who never had an abortion and considers the procedure an abomination.
Norma McCorvey of Dallas, Texas (R), the "Roe" in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with Sandra Cano of Atlanta, Georgia, the "Doe" in the Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court case, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC June 23, 2005. Both women went on the record saying they never had an abortion and are seeking to overturn their cases that made abortion legal. REUTERS/Shaun Heasley SH/CN
(Original Caption) Dallas: In her neat and well organized office Norma McCorvey sits behind her desk with a sign out front that says 'I Am Subject To Bursts OF Enthusiasm.
(Original Caption) Dallas: Norma McCorvey sits in her office at the complex she manages. In her capacity as manager McCorvey has to speak English, some Spanish and some sign language to communicate with her tenants.
(Original Caption) 4/26/1989-Washington, D.C.- Norma McCorvey, 'Jane Roe' in Roe vs. Wade, is the center of media attention following arguments in a Missouri abortion case at the Supreme Court 4/26. McCorvey attended the session as a spectator. Photo shows McCorvey in front of Supreme Court steps talking to the press.
(L-R) Sandra Cano of Atlanta, Georgia, the "Doe" in the Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court case, Norma McCorvey of Dallas, Texas, the "Roe" in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case and Dr. Ken Edelin, associate dean at the Boston University College of Medicine, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC June 23, 2005. Cano and McCorvey went on the record saying they never had an abortion and are seeking to overturn their cases that made abortion legal. REUTERS/Shaun Heasley SH/CN
WASHINGTON, : This 21 January, 1998, file photo shows Norma McCorvey, the woman at the center of the US Supreme Court ruling on abortion, testifies before a US Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee during hearings on the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. McCorvey's lawsuit led to the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion asked a court 16 June, 2003 to overturn the ruling. In her affidavit filed with the US District Court in Dallas, Texas, McCorvey, the 'Jane Roe' in Roe vs Wade, said the case was wrongfully decided. She wants US courts to consider new evidence that abortion hurt her and other women. If McCorvey's motion for a hearing is granted, the proceedings could open the door for the Supreme Court to revisit the case, but legal experts said such an outcome is unlikely. AFP PHOTO/Chris KLEPONIS/FILES (Photo credit should read CHRIS KLEPONIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: This file photo shows Norma McCorvey(L), the former 'Jane Roe' in the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v.Wade, as she tells reporters 18 September 1990 in Washington,DC, that she is against the nomination of David Souter as Supreme Court justice, because she is afraid he will help overturn the ruling. Listening to McCorvey is her former attorney Gloria Allred(R). (Photo credit should read KEVIN LARKIN/AFP/Getty Images)