Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com has problems with the new documentary on Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion -- namely, her claim that she flipped to being an anti-abortion activist because she was paid to do so.
A May 21 column by Alveda King (also published at Newsmax), which came out before the film was released, rehashed anti-abortion talking points and added a little self-promotion to attack the film and perpetuate the anti-abortion movement's narrative on McCorvey:
Shameful fake news would have us believe that Norma McCorvey was a mercenary. Nothing could be further from the truth. For those of us who knew and loved Norma, we know that at the end, Norma loved God, and Norma loved life.
Never believe fake news. Fake news baited and switched on Norma just before her death. According to Rev. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, Norma wrote to him saying that she’d been booked for an interview for AKA Jane Roe. Norma was so excited; they promised to let her tell her story and told her they would pay her for it. From my personal perspective, they interviewed Norma and took her words out of context.
Norma McCorvey’s conversion to Christianity in 1995 led her to become one of the most devoted pro-life advocates of our times. Her pro-life testimony is truly a gift of love.
As a Christian evangelist, and executive director of the upcoming film – Roe v. Wade – I am praying and thanking God for the pro-life legacy of my friend Norma McCorvey. God bless America and God bless the pro-life legacy of Norma McCorvey; she gave her all for God. She gave her love for life.
The next day, CNS published a column by Penny Nance of the right-wing, anti-abortion Concerned Women for America. Nance also apparently hadn't seen the film, choosing instead to attack director Nick Sweeney because his "body of work informs his agenda." but she too was more interested in perpetuating the anti-abortion agenda that the film undermines:
But the abortion deception demands more and more lies in order to keep its house of cards alive. From their standpoint, the public must never discover that pro-life is pro-woman. And with this new documentary, the web of lies and deception continues.
Thankfully, the majority of Americans are not falling for this. They are waking up to the many abortion lies, like those the Sweeney documentary alleges, that keep Roe alive and are now rejecting these lies. Are Americans to believe the 1970s McCorvey? The 2005 McCorvey? Or the 2017 deathbed McCorvey? Regardless of what she said in her 2017 deathbed confession, we in the Christian conservative movement loved and welcomed her and thank her for her courage to bring to light the deception of Roe v. Wade.
Finally, CNS published a June 1 column by someone who may have actually seen the film, Rev. Shenan Boquet of anti-abortion group Human Life International.He served up the usual attack on the film's director, snarking that Sweeney's "other film credits include such illuminating films as The Sex Robots are Coming and Transgender Kids Camp" -- telling us how little he thinks of transgender kids -- but he did concede that McCorvey's claim could "deliver a major blow to the pro-life cause."
Which, of course, is why he devoted a lot of space to downplay and undermine it. As far as the money, Boquet huffed: "McCorvey worked for& two and a half decades in the pro-life movement. Like any spokesperson for any cause, she was paid for her speeches and other work. Viewed as a lump sum, the total dollar amount seems shocking; considered as payment for many years of work, it’s a non-event."
He then declared that "perhaps the best reason to question the film’s narrative is the testimony of the many pro-life leaders who spend endless hours with her, considered her a close friend, and who were in regular contact with her up to – and, indeed, on – the day she died," adding that "various pro-life leaders, many of whom spent countless hours with McCorvey, and with whom she even lived at various times, have reminisced fondly about the woman they knew. And regardless of any complexities of her feelings captured in the documentary, they strenuously dispute the notion that her pro-life conversion or activism was just an 'act.'"
Boquet finally declared that "In AKA Jane Roe, Sweeny [sic] tried to paint a sordid tale of a movement exploiting a woman, plying her with money to play a part for political gain. In reality, it was he who was exploiting her: releasing an ambiguous documentary designed to undermine her pro-life legacy, after her death, when she is unable to defend herself or clarify her words." Of course, Boquet very much has an incentive to attack Sweeney and his film and insist McCorvey's words couldn't possibly be her own.