AKA Jane Roe (TV Movie 2020) Poster

(2020 TV Movie)

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9/10
Wonderful
sherylchilders8225 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
For a network documentary, this was extremely well done. It was honest, real, and ultimately revealed the truth. Who was Norma McCorvey? She was a human being - complicated and good in different ways. When I looked into her eyes as a middle-aged woman, I still saw an abused little girl. And although she was an adult and completely responsible for her questionable actions, even the evangelical pro-life group that exploited her admitted that they knew what they were doing. Charming and funny, it reveals her true identity, from the woman who was the love of her life, to her children and grandchildren. This was not a documentary meant to stir up the politics on one side or the other - it was a true and important work of journalism. Sweeping aside what must have been a lifetime of tabloid attention and a character mainstream media didn't quite know what to make of, it illuminates in wonderful simplicity a woman that leaves a legacy by pure chance. Personally, I found it to be wonderful.
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Many unanswered questions, and it's too late for me to call Norma
SureCommaNot25 May 2020
Whatever a phone version of "pen pals" is, that's the sort of relationship I had with Norma, after reading her second book, calling the phone number listed at the end (for Roe No More ministries) and finding, to my surprise, that Norma herself answered the phone. I always kept the conversations relaxed and familial, the sorts of things grandmother and grandson would talk about, because I figured she had enough of the weighty matters from everyone else. And this documentary does a great job, I think, of showing what happens when an uneducated person just trying to get by in life is used as a mouthpiece for other people's opinions on the biggest societal questions. (Even the Bible warns that new converts shouldn't jump to leadership positions.) Norma's life is a perfect cautionary tale. And you can see just how exhausted she was by it all.

Some things I appreciated about the documentary: the music was subdued (never manipulative); the editing masterfully created suspense where needed, using really subtle techniques; and the people interviewed... well, that one is a little more complicated. I appreciated the fact that many sides of the abortion debate were depicted with archived video footage, including male and female pro-life and pro-choice activists, but I wished the interview pool reflected that same diversity, lest viewers come to the conclusion that pro-lifers are chiefly male, and pro-choicers chiefly female.

At the same time, this wasn't a documentary about the debate. This was a documentary about Norma. So I take that observation with a grain of salt. I just wish I could call her up one last time. I wish I had more inside knowledge about this documentary, not only what Norma's thought process had been, but also (I gotta say it) whether or not she was again being paid a sizable amount to say what she'd been told to say. And I wonder the same about some of the other interviewees.

There's a lot we just don't know. And with so many unrelated societal issues getting unnecessarily bundled together (if the viewer isn't careful to separate them), it's hard to have any real takeaways from this documentary. All I can hope for is that we seek to know the truth regardless of who the mouthpiece is, and to live out the truth lovingly, courageously and faithfully.

I'd be remiss not to end with my position on the matter: We have to offer options safe for women and for the unborn alike; we can't treat any demographic of humanity is being less than human. After all, plenty of 19th-century slaveowners were really nice people, I'm sure, and abolitionists probably real obnoxious to be around, but the truth is independent of its mouthpiece: no demographic of human being should have their personhood taken away. We are not free to take away the basic freedoms of others. The unborn have completely distinct, unique genetic code (not "part of" their mothers' body). They are their own people. And it is not okay that we should choose for them, whether or not to live or die. It brings me to tears when I think of the massacre still happening daily, as free choice is being taken away from human lives unable to speak up for themselves. And I don't care whether or not Roe Vs Wade is overturned; I'd rather see everyday citizens caring for each other, so that no woman ever feels like she has no choice.
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7/10
hard to defend anyone here
TristramShandy24 May 2020
I won't call these people "trash people" but you end up being conflicted with everybody involved in this story - - which does make the documentary intriguing. At one point McCorvey says "you can't con a con" and that's what everybody in the documentary is.
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8/10
A not half-bad overview of a place and time. Done well enough if this interests you.
rzajac25 May 2020
Fairly artfully done documentary coverage of the "pro-life" movement, particularly in the Dallas TX area, in the post-Roe era. Even with my pre-awareness, I found it good to watch for the fairly fluid way it takes you through those times and those faces.

I actually met Norma once, and had dealings with Benham.

It's interesting to have learned that Norma was actually on-the-take, but to me the more important thing was getting the sense that she sort of got a kick out of the particular species of attention she could get from Those People in exchange for (I guess) feigning having switched sides as an iconic person of the abortion issue.

It was interesting to see Benham again, young and old. Back in the day, dealing with him, I quickly pegged him as perhaps having a smidgen of principle, but such principle pretty much slathered over with his preening, pious assumption that his religion gave him a shortcut to control over others' lives.

The lost stars in my rating are merely for the overarching reality that in the end these folks' experiences are actually a bit of a blip on the cosmic radar; not really a "big" subject. It's nice that the filmmakers lavished attention on same, but it's also a bit niche for them to have done so.
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1/10
Issue Was Never Jane Roe
NanoFrog13 July 2020
Norma McCorve. the thing is, to me, is that the court case and the whole issue was never about Norma McCorve. Trying to watch a film about her less than interesting life is hard to do in particular because she really does not matter so much. The case was the case. The law was about the law. The miserable and self-indulgent life of Norma McCorve is a sideshow, like her. Completely and utterly forgetable. The legal case that said women have the right to control their own bodies was what is important here. May it be preserved.
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2/10
Who Was Norma McCorvey?
pauljacob9911 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Who was Norma McCorvey? If you believe the filmmakers she was a one dimensional human being obsessed with her childhood desire to be an actress at the center of the limelight. When the events of her early years brought forth the opportunity to help the pro-abortion movement, she hopped on it as her "chance." At first the pro-abortion movement was happy to let Norma become the face of the movement. But over time they lost faith in her ability to paint the narrative they wanted. That's when she seized on the opportunity to join the other side and advocate against abortion. Even though she didn't believe it. Of course she was also paid off for her efforts. She then structured the next 20+ years of her life around this "lie" including converting to the Catholic faith of her mother, living with but not having sexual relations with her lesbian lover, eventually ending that relationship, and doing many other things that involved neither money nor attention. All to ensure that the "act" was believable. In the final moments of her life, she made the big reveal to a film crew that she barely knew. It was all a lie! She's been pro-abortion the entire time. She fulfilled her childhood dream to be a great actress - perhaps one of the best of all time.

What this narrative fails to achieve is the believability that would allow viewers on all sides of the aisle to watch it and conclude definitively that Norma wasn't pro-life. The viewer is very quickly inundated with Norma's quirkiness. It is clear that her life was extremely complex and that her personality is equally complex. Norma doesn't fit into the single dimension caricature that the filmmakers created. Those who were closest to her attest to this. She also had a history of mental health issues that the filmmakers never discuss but that is visible in the interviews. Her conversion to Catholicism is never discussed. Her attempt to repeal Roe vs. Wade, while mentioned, is never discussed. She never refutes that she ended her lesbian relationship because of her religious views. None of this is explained away in the "deathbed confession." It is also interesting that the filmmakers waited years to release this film just before what will likely be a highly contested election that has implications for legalized abortion in this country.

The film is not a direct threat to the pro-life movement in the sense that the pro-life cause is greater than any single person. It addresses our most basic right as human beings. Even if Norma was lying her entire life, it would have no bearing on the question: "Do humans have a right to life at all stages of development?" However, the attack on McCorvey is a character assassination that is unjust to who Norma was and what she fought for. And it tries to strip the pro-life movement of a key witness in its fight against abortion.

The producers have a strong history of a pro-abortion bias. They refuse to release the full tapes of the interviews with McCorvey. They lied about McCorvey being paid over $450k to speak on behalf of the pro-life movement. The payment claim was debunked by Live Action. The filmmakers paid McCorvey for her participation in the documentary and then lied about it. Fr. Frank Pavone, a close friend and spiritual director, has released a text from McCorvey proving that they did in fact pay her. In her final words to Fr. Pavone just before she passed away, she urged him to continue fighting to overturn the unjust decision made in the name of Jane Roe, the persona she had long since outgrown.

The whole documentary is a sham and it is so typical of the pro-abortion movement to use lies to distort the truth. I don't take anything that McCorvey said at face value because the video is very tightly and cleverly edited. We never hear lengthy exchanges. She says something with no context regarding what the interviewer asked and then they clip to someone else that comments on the theme they were trying to connect Norma's words to. You can use editing to make someone say almost anything you want. Especially if they like to talk as Norma did.

From those who know her, Norma was struggling towards the end. She had little money when she moved to assisted living. She felt abandoned by some during that time of transition. Fr. Pavone said he has communication from Norma along these lines. According to a recent article in Slate, she even called Abby Johnson (a former clinic director at Planned Parenthood who converted to the pro-life movement) to ask if Abby thought that Norma would be held responsible by God for all the abortions since Roe vs. Wade. Norma seemed to be struggling with the immense weight of the millions of legal abortions since Roe vs. Wade. And that pressure built towards her final moments on earth.

For those that are objective enough to parse out the truth, the movie highlights how evil the abortion industry really is. Obviously many will be misled by the filmmaker's lies and deceptions. Unfortunately, many will believe whatever the media feeds them. I've seen enough documentaries to detect fact from fiction. The deceptive ones use similar tactics every time. This one is no different. The truth is Norma wasn't one dimensional as the filmmakers would have us believe. She was a highly complex person. She was an imperfect person. And she fought bravely on behalf of children in the womb until her dying days.

2/10 - It kept my interest but ultimately the deceptive narrative overshadows any positives.
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7/10
complicated journey
SnoopyStyle30 March 2021
It's the complicated journey of Norma McCorvey who would be the subject of the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v Wade. It follows her complicated life as she makes a death bed confession over her changing opinion. She dies in 2017.

I've always been uncomfortable with this debate. I don't like abortions but I ain't forcing any woman to be pregnant if they are unwilling to do it. Quite frankly, Norma does not make it any easier. No matter which side she decides on being. I won't denounce her but I can't support her either. She's a complicated character. In many ways, she is a human character, terribly flawed and sinner like us all.
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1/10
NOTHING BIT LIES...
deenakurdas15 April 2021
She was a liar from the start, just no one knew till she was older. Even though the movie portraits her ad some wonderful person, I truly believe she was lying throughout all of it, collecting money for herself. Her lifestyle was wild and vivacious at a young age. She abused the legal system saying she was raped, when she wasn't. Then years pass and she completely changes her outlook just line her pockets. Typical liberal going after money. She did this for years, lying to herself and her girlfriend, and Americans. She's a disgrace to humanity and to True Americans who once believed her. I am utterly disgraced and purified by her recent actions. She has now disgraced America and all of humanity!
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7/10
Worth the watch
lbrown-9547726 May 2020
This is a well-done documentary that pulls in perspectives from both sides of the controversy. It is pretty clear by the middle of the film that 'Jane' likely suffers from a personality disorder- but regardless of her somewhat wild nature, she was indeed the first voice for women in this fight so kudos to you Norma. Others have said this documentary was filmed from a pro-life viewpoint, however, I thought all the racism, sexism, and any other type of oppression was blatantly highlighted and was meant to make the audience feel disgusted (I sure did). It also does a pretty good job of showing how both sides will use money and influence to get what they want.
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3/10
Decent Until the End
songofsolomon-2845511 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
At first, AKA Jane Roe takes on an educational feel, which will appeal to the audience's intellect. Plus it appeals to your heart as you get to know the real person. Then the big reveal of the big secret feels a bit sensationalistic. It's way too late in history to shock us with the underhanded dealings of the church. They should have just hired her as a spokesman and be done with the drama. I guess if gossip appeals to you, you might like the show. It's not going to influence you one way or another either with abortion or your opinion on Jesus Christ. It should have strived further to be educational (not sensational).
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2/10
Very confusinf
marthacoyne-5804224 May 2020
This was a very difficult documentary to follow. It skips around the time periods. The actual events are presented in a confusing matter and much of the details are omitted, again making it hard to follow
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1/10
Garbage pro-life propoganda.
flags-8716025 May 2020
I was hoping this would be a good fact based documentary, I've always found this case and the people surrounding it fascinating. However this was obviously made by pro-life people pushing an agenda. They left out important details to twist the story. They never explored much of the trial itself. The trial is actually very interesting, but when you know more about it you wonder how they came to conclusions they did. Even the actors in it couldn't help but hide their smug attitudes when shown "revealing" information. I found this movie very disappointing and in the end a total waste of time.
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