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Norma McCorvey, who became pseudonymously known as Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion, died of heart complications in an assisted-living home in Texas on Saturday. She was 69 years old.

While most Americans are familiar with the effects of that case, few know how it progressed through the courts, or much of McCorvey's life before or since. Now, in the wake of her passing, people are learning of surprising details from her obituaries. For instance:

  • She didn't have an abortion. McCorvey had already given birth twice when she became pregnant in 1969, at age 21. She filed suit in 1970 for the right to have an abortion. Three years later, the Supreme Court had ruled in her favor, but she'd of course already given birth to her third child, whom she'd then put up for adoption. She never attended a trial and "learned of the ruling in a newspaper article," according to the Washington Post.
  • She'd originally said the "Roe" pregnancy was the result of rape, then, in 1987, admitted that she'd become pregnant "through what I thought was love." McCorvey had apparently hoped that such a falsehood would give her a chance to meet the exemption rules for abortion in Texas at that time. Although this would be used by abortion opponents to demonize her, it in fact had no legal relevance to the case as decided by the Supreme Court.
  • She became an anti-abortion activist later in life. McCorvey, who was relatively uneducated, came from a working-class background, and struggled with any number of personal problems, chafed at her symbolic role in the pro-choice movement. Working at abortion clinics, she was "trying to please everyone and trying to be hardcore" about the ideology. Eventually, she became a Catholic and fell in with Operation Rescue, a Christian organization opposed to all abortion rights (though she maintained the right to abortion in the first trimester, unlike the group). She was even arrested in 2009 "for disrupting the Senate confirmation hearings on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court," the site of her landmark victory.
  • She was in a committed lesbian relationship for more than 30 years. From around 1970, when Roe v. Wade was just getting off the ground, to the early 1990s, McCorvey's partner was a woman, Connie Gonzales, who proved to be a more stable companion than any man in her life. Their relationship seems to have ended bitterly when McCorvey embraced an anti-gay strain of Christianity, but as late as 2006, it was reported that she was caring for Gonzales after she had suffered a stroke.
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All in all, it was a complicated legacy for a complicated woman—and proof that Roe v. Wade isn't nearly as simple as many make it out to be.