Empty Playgrounds

Album: Reversing Roe: The Norma McCorvey Story (2002)


  • "Empty Playgrounds" started life as a poem by Norma McCorvey, who was Jane Roe in the 1973 US Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade. Norma Leah McCorvey (1947-2017) was in her own words the kind of girl mothers warned their daughters about. She married at 16 but she and Woody McCorvey soon split up. At the age of 21, pregnant for the third time, she sought an abortion, which was mostly illegal in the United States.

    A chance encounter with an attorney led to a meeting with Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, who were looking for a test case to front a class action lawsuit that would entail her claiming to have been the victim of a gang-rape. Norma became their shill, and although she did not in fact have an abortion, she did begin working for an abortion clinic.

    Another chance encounter, this time with the charismatic preacher Flip Benham, led to her becoming a born again Christian and revealing she had been misled by Weddington and Coffee. She devoted the rest of her life to opposing the social change she had helped bring about, and wrote "Empty Playgrounds" as a deep expression of remorse. It was set to music by Christian songwriter Phil Keaggy and was used in the documentary Reversing Roe: The Norma McCorvey Story. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


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