‘Roe’ examines if a law can change people’s hearts

by Stephanie Racine

Roe v. Wade remains one of the nation’s most controversial Supreme Court decisions. “Roe,” a play by Lisa Loomer showing at Goodman Theatre until Feb. 23, looks into the lives of those who were a part of the famous decision. 

Plaintiff Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe), and her legal representative Sarah Weddington, don’t see eye-to-eye in many aspects of the case and the events that follow. They both wrote and proclaimed conflicting information throughout the years. 

The complexity of the story mirrors the issues regarding Roe v. Wade. When McCorvey is approached by Weddington at age 22, she’s on her third child and too poor and troubled to face the responsibility. She’s happy to help in the fight for access to abortion for women.

Later, McCorvey becomes a born-again Christian, and regrets her part in Roe v. Wade. She actively protests against abortion and claims she was coerced into her role in the case. 

Weddington was 26 when she argued before the Supreme Court. She remains stalwart in her support of abortion access throughout her life. 

The show emphasizes the impassioned opinions from both sides, which culminates in one moment of debaters yelling over each other in a cacophony. The moment is brought to silence by a young girl, painfully lamenting at the complex steps a woman has to experience to inquire about abortion in current times.

“Roe” is sharp in its commentary and storytelling. Characters address the audience in sidebars with heartfelt asides and monologues, explaining their motivations, the consequences of actions and their true feelings. 

One moment in “Roe,” asks if a law can change people’s hearts. The response is that it can start to.

“Roe” is at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., until Feb. 23. Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Roe, by phone at (312) 443-3800 or at their onsite box office.

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