Sarah Weddington, lawyer arguing Roe v. Wade, dies aged 76

DALLAS, Texas – Sarah Weddington, a 26-year-old Texas attorney who successfully argued the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade before the US Supreme Court, died Sunday. She is 76 years old.

Susan Hays, a former student and colleague of Weddington, said she died in her sleep early Sunday morning at her home in Austin. Weddington had been in poor health for a while and the cause of her immediate death was unknown, Hays told the Associated Press.

Raised as the daughter of a minister in Abilene, West Texas, Weddington attended law school at the University of Texas. A few years after graduating, she and a former classmate, Linda Coffee, sued on behalf of a pregnant woman in a class action lawsuit against state law banning abortion.

The case of “Jane Roe,” real name Norma McCorvey, was brought against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade and eventually made it to the Supreme Court.

Weddington argued the case before the supreme court twice, in December 1971 and again in October 1972, leading the following year to a 7 February ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. .

Weddington’s death comes as the Supreme Court is considering a case over Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that is seen by many as the most serious challenge in years to Roe’s decision.

While that case was in court, Weddington was also running to represent Austin in the Texas House of Representatives. She was elected in 1972 and served three terms as a state legislator, before becoming general counsel to the United States Department of Agriculture and later as an adviser on women’s issues to the President. Jimmy Carter.

Weddington later wrote a book about Roe v. Wade, lectures and teaches courses at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Women’s University on leadership, law, and sexism. She remained active in the political and legal worlds into her later years, attending the 2019 signing of a New York state law that would protect abortion rights should Roe’s lawsuit against Wade be overturned.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Sarah Weddington, lawyer arguing Roe v. Wade, dies aged 76

Dais Johnston

Dais Johnston is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Dais Johnston joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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