The XX Factor

Roe v. Sotomayor

In a new twist to the subplot that abortion has become in Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing, it seems that the woman who was arrested for shouting down a Democratic senator during Monday’s proceedings was “Roe” herself. Or, more accurately, Norma McCorvey , the woman whose abortion-rights lawsuit in the ‘70s led to the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade . After becoming the face of the fight for abortion rights, McCorvey later reversed her stance and began campaigning against abortion. She apparently took that campaign back to the Supreme Court (sort of) on Monday. The Washington Post is reporting that Capitol police arrested McCorvey after she shouted at Sotomayor on her way out of the chamber. “You’re wrong about abortion, Sotomayor!” she yelled. Her voice broke a little but she repeated “You’re wrong!” before she rushed out of the room.

Even before we knew who she was, McCorvey’s outburst felt different than the ones that preceded it . The two men who had already been dragged out of the chambers for similar infractions were very calculated in their actions-they stood up straight, they shouted loudly, but they responded rather amiably to the grip of police officers on their arms. They were there to get arrested. But McCorvey, who seemed to want to say something but also to want to get out the door, was there to deliver a message.

Photograph of Norman McCorvey by Travis Lindquist/Getty Images.