As hundreds of thousands prepare to march on Washington, Dallas, San Francisco and other American cities to protest the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe v. Wade decision, Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” of that case, spoke to WND about her role in history and the movie “Doonby.”
Mike Mackenzie, a producer of “Doonby” and son of the movie’s writer/director/producer Peter Mackenzie joined the conversation. The mystical thriller stars John Schneider as American drifter Sam Doonby in a daring adventure.
McCorvey will speak Saturday at the Dallas March for Life rally, where the theme is: “It began in Dallas. Let’s end it in Dallas.” This means marchers conclude their annual protest at the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse, which houses the district court where ambitious pro-abortion attorneys first filed the Roe case in 1970, while McCorvey was homeless, unwed, drug-addicted and pregnant with her third child.
“By casting Norma in the film, we hope to highlight the ambivalence Americans have had towards the subject of abortion,” Mike Mackenzie said. “Norma spent half her life being pro-choice, found Christ and became pro-life, and now she’s a fervent activist.”
Starting Feb. 17, “Doonby” launches with a limited release in four Mississippi towns, then opens in Dallas movie theaters on February 24. In the spring, theater distribution will expand and WND readers will be able to find theater locations at Doonby.com.
“I just hope everybody comes out and sees ‘Doonby,'” said McCorvey. “I don’t say that because I’m in it, I say it because it’s a great flick – a great psychological thriller.”
“We hope this film highlights the social issue and really affirms the significance of every [human] life,” said Mackenzie. “What we want to do is raise awareness of the issue without trying to side one way or the other – really just trying to focus on this life issue and protecting the most sacred gift we have.”
Schneider and several of his “Doonby” co-stars, including Joe Estevez, Jennifer O’Neill, Robert Davi, Jenn Gotzon, Erin Way and Will Wallace, spoke to WND about what compelled them to do the film and why they think it deserves an audience. While the movie release date has changed, you can read interviews with Schneider, Estevez and Way and with Wallace, Davi, O’Neill and Gotzon.
When Sam Doonby arrives in Smithville, Texas, Leroy Jackson (Ernie Hudson), a legendary musician and owner of the local blues bar, happens to need a bartender. Leroy hires Sam and discovers that his new bartender is also a gifted singer/songwriter who could, with a little help, become a legend, too.
Laura Reaper (Gotzon) is daughter of the town’s wealthy Dr. Cyrus Reaper (Estevez) and a party girl who finds Sam irresistible.
Soon after Sam’s arrival, however, Smithville is jolted by a series of near-tragic events almost wreaking havoc. As each catastrophe unfolds, Sam always seems to be in the right place at the right time to save the day. At first the townspeople are grateful to their new friend, but then some, especially Dr. Reaper and Sheriff Tom Woodley (Davi), become suspicious of the hero – the savior – with a shady past.
In “Doonby,” Sam lovingly remembers his mom, Lucy Mae, and their humble beginnings in small-town Louisiana. Lucy Mae’s outspoken neighbor, Nancy Thurber, is played by McCorvey – who hails from Louisiana in real life. At first Nancy seems nosey, but viewers come to realize she’s a tough-love kind of woman much like McCorvey.
“Doonby” scene with Norma McCorvey and Erin Way
By the stunning end of the film, viewers also know Nancy offered the biggest clue to Sam’s mysterious past.
“‘Doonby’ has changed my life,” said McCorvey. “It’s not often that a girl from Louisiana is asked to be in a major production like this. It’s an honor and a privilege. I’m putting ‘Doonby’ at the top of my résumé.”
All things considered, when Peter Mackenzie tried to approach McCorvey, she was suspicious.
“I’ve had a lot of people looking for me, but not always with good intentions,” she said, further explaining that she made him wait weeks before she’d meet him.
Once McCorvey read his screenplay, she was compelled to play Nancy.
“Peter has so much insight in this movie,” said McCorvey, who befriended the filmmaker and his family. “I’ve talked with him at great length about ‘Doonby’ – I don’t know how many batteries I’ve burned out on my cell phone.”
McCorvey’s role in history
McCorvey reflected on her part in history and said she was used by lawyers and Supreme Court justices to decriminalize abortion which brought about the American holocaust of some 55 million babies so far.
But Norma McCorvey never had an abortion. Instead, she had three daughters and offered them up for adoption. Now she’s reunited with one daughter and a happy grandmother of two.
In 1995, McCorvey went from abortion clinic worker to asking Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eventually entering the Catholic church. Since becoming a Christian, she’s done everything in her power to make reparation.
For example, in 2005 she petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear McCorvey v. Hill, an effort to expose the fraud in Roe v. Wade and reveal the harmful effects of abortion on women. That same year, after the court rejected her appeal, McCorvey testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I am the woman once known as the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade. But I dislike the name Jane Roe and all that it stands for. I am a real person named Norma McCorvey and I want you to know the horrible and evil things that Roe v. Wade did to me and others. I never got the opportunity to speak for myself in my own court case,” she told the Senate.
“Instead of helping women in Roe v. Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation. …
“Instead of getting me financial or vocational help, instead of helping me to get off of drugs and alcohol, instead of working for open adoption or giving me other help, my lawyers wanted to eliminate the right of society to protect women and children from abortionists. My lawyers were looking for a young, white woman to be a guinea pig for a great new social experiment, somewhat like Adolf Hitler did. I wanted an abortion at the time, but my lawyers did not tell me that I would be killing a human being. …
“It is like a living hell knowing that you have had a part to play, though in some sense I was just a pawn of the legal system. But I have had to accept my role in the deaths of millions of babies and the destruction of women’s lives,” McCorvey continued.
“I was actually silent about my role in abortion for many years and did not speak out at all. Then, in the 1980s, in order to justify my own conduct, with many conflicting emotions, I did come forward publicly to support Roe v. Wade. Keep in mind that I had not had an abortion and did not know much about it at the time.
“Then around 1992, I began to work in abortion clinics. Like most Americans, including many of you senators, I had no actual experience with abortion until that point. When I began to work in the abortion clinics, I became even more emotionally confused and conflicted between what my conscience knew to be evil and what the judges, my mind and my need for money were telling me was OK. I saw women crying in the recovery rooms. If abortion is so right, why were the women crying?” McCorvey asked the senators.
McCorvey testified about the filth and carnage she witnessed in abortion clinics and said the only way she could cope with her part in Roe v. Wade was to become a Christian.
(She also reveals secrets of the abortion industry in the documentary “BloodMoney.”)
“If you are trapped in wrongdoing then all you can do is justify and defend your actions, but the pain gets worse and worse, so I drank a lot to kill the pain.
“Finally, in 1995, a pro-life organization moved its offices right next door to the abortion clinic where I was working. I acted hatefully towards those people. But those people acted lovingly to me most of the time. One man did angrily accuse me at one point of being responsible for killing 40 million babies, but he later came to me and apologized for his words and said they were not motivated by love. The answer to the abortion problem is forgiveness, repentance and love,” said McCorvey.
“They say: Alone, I was born. Alone, I shall die. We must also ask Almighty God to forgive us for what we have done. …
“Senators, I urge you to examine your own conscience before Almighty God. God is willing and able to forgive you.”