Exclusive: The hairstylist who styled Norma McCorvey’s hair for her fateful day in court recounts that day, how Norma reacted, what the attorney who brought her in said. It’s a personal glimpse into history.The most controversial case to this day, Roe vs Wade, began in Dallas,Texas. We all know the outcome of the case but sometimes the background, personal information is fascinating. Here’s a bit of local Dallas background.
In the early seventies, a young, single hairstylist worked at Ken’s Beauty Salon on Mockingbird Lane, almost next door to SMU, in Dallas,Texas. This was an upscale salon with a very exclusive Crystal Charity Ball clientele.
There was a note of whispered intensity as a young female attorney quietly explained that the hairstylist’s next customer, Norma McCorvey, was going to appear in court for a very important case, Roe vs Wade. It was suggested that her hair be styled simply because the client needed to look her understated best in the courtroom.
The hairstylist’s clientele list of standing appointments included many of the names featured in the roster of Who’s Who in Dallas, including Sandra Simmons first female pilot for Braniff , then wife of now Texas billionaire, Harold Simmons. But whether it was the wife of a United States diplomat or one of a bevy of young female attorneys intent on breaking glass ceilings, Braniff airline stewardesses or someone with a hot court date pending, the patrons all received the same service – the best, and at times, the most expensive that Dallas offered.
The hairstylist remembers that Norma McCorvey was pale, very quiet and very shy. She seemed overwhelmed, scared and submissive to whatever the attorneys who were with her thought was best. If she said more than “Thank you” the stylist doesn’t remember it
What the stylist does recall with stunning clarity is what the attorney said as she was combing out the attorney’s hair. Unable to resist talking about the case, the attorney asked the stylist, “Are you aware of the debate about reproduction rights for women?”
“Somewhat”, said the stylist, busy with hairspray by then, arching her shoulders to stretch already aching back muscles with part of her mind thinking about the full schedule for that day.
“Well, you just finished styling the hair of the lady who is going to make history very soon. She is the “Roe” of Roe vs Wade. We’re going to win this case and it is going to change forever the ability for women to control their own bodies. You have literally “touched” history,” responded the attorney.
“I’ve touched history?”, finally the attorney had the stylist’s rapt attention.
The attorney went on to describe some of the details of the case, details that the stylist is no longer certain are part of her memory of the conversation or from all of the press that has followed year after year since. But one phrase the stylist does remember that the attorney kept repeating, was “in the case of rape, incest, or a woman’s life.”
The stylist was young, as was Norma McCorvey and the attorney. It seemed right, fair and reasonable that women be allowed to make a decision about abortion “in the case of rape, incest or a woman’s life,” she decided. The stylist was unable to look past the immediate impact of limited abortion rights. Never did she think abortion would someday be so easily obtained that it could be substituted for birth control.
When the attorneys and Miss McCorvey left, the stylist wished them the best in court and reminded herself to keep up with how this case developed.
Today marked the 37th anniversary of the U. S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs Wade decision that legalized abortion. Today the annual March for Life protest against the millions of babies who have been aborted since that time was held.
Norma McCorvey is submissive no longer and has since spoken out about how she felt she was used and how she deeply regrets her part in the case.
And the hairstylist? She shudders to think how far removed from the right to have an abortion in case of “rape, incest, or if a woman’s life is in danger” this law now has become. If someone had told her then that “progressive” feminists and their backers would push the right to abort so far that they could stand up and argue for the continued right to deliver a baby and then murder it, she would have felt then as she feels now. If ever a law has been distorted and abused, this one has.
The hairstylist’s belated conviction: That piece of history continues to leave blood on the hands of everyone who touched it.
Only one liberal feminist dares to call abortion on demand what it is – murder. Camille Paglia says
… I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue.
(This article is the first hand account from the memory of then hairstylist, Devonia Smith)
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