Norma Leah McCorvey (née Nelson; born September 22, 1947), better known by the legal pseudonym "Jane Roe", was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional. Later, McCorvey's opinion on abortion changed substantially, and she is now active in pro-life causes.
McCorvey was born in Simmesport, Louisiana, and raised in Houston, Texas as a Jehovah's Witness. McCorvey's father left the family when she was 13 years old and her parents subsequently divorced. She and her older brother were raised by their mother Mildred, a violent alcoholic. McCorvey's father died on September 27, 1995. She is of partial Cajun and Cherokee ancestry.
McCorvey dropped out of high school at the age of 14. Two years later, she married Woody McCorvey (born 1940), but left him after he abused her. She moved in with her mother and gave birth to her first child, Cheryl (born 1965). The following year, McCorvey again became pregnant and gave birth to a baby that was placed for adoption. She then returned to live with her mother, but when Norma intimated that she was sexually attracted to women, her mother disowned her and took custody of Norma's daughter, Cheryl.