Most of us were shocked in early August when Flip Benham, national director for Operation Rescue, baptized Norma McCorvey, the woman known as Jane Roe in the U.S. Supreme Courts 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The events leading to the baptism started with an apology. Earlier this year Benhan relocated ORs national headquarters next to the abortion clinic where McCorvey worked. That same week Benham spoke to McCorvey. He apologized for an earlier encounter, when he had told McCorvey that she was responsible for millions of abortions.
“I saw that those words really hurt you, I told her and asked her to forgive me. She said, Oh yes, it did hurt.” McCorvey forgave Benham and the two struck up a friendship. Even before her conversion, McCorvey spoke freely about the friendship.
“I like Flip,” McCorvey told a reporter in March of this year. “Hes doing his thing.” The unconditional love Benham and other OR workers showed McCorvey eventually broke through. Though an icon to the pro-abortion movement, McCorvey felt used. As she saw firsthand the love of Christ through her new friends, McCorvey eventually felt more comfortable with them than with her clinic co-workers. She even dropped by ORs offices and sometimes picked up the phone when no one else was available. That love and acceptance led McCorvey to a Dallas area church, where in late July she put her life in Gods hands.
“Jane Roe was who the pro-abortion side cared about most,” Benham says, “but God was always concerned with Norma McCorvey.” The non-condemning love continues today. McCorvey has quit her job at the clinic and now works for OR. But she and Benham still do not see eye-to-eye on every issue.
“Weve got to give her some time and space,” says Benham. “Changes on such a personal level take a little bit longer.” McCorveys conversion reminds all of us that the people who represent our opposition--even those whose actions we find most repulsive--are loved by God and are not beyond his reach. “It moves this issue from politics to the Gospel. That is where God wanted it any way,” Benham said.