Lawyer Sarah Weddington Who Won Roe V Wade Abortion Case Dies at the Age of 76

© Photo : Public DomainAttorney and women's rights activist, Sarah Weddington, spoke at the 2004 March for Women's Lives in Washington DC
Attorney and women's rights activist, Sarah Weddington, spoke at the 2004 March for Women's Lives in Washington DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
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American lawyer Sarah Weddington was best known for her participation as the plaintiff's attorney in the landmark Row v. Wade case, which in 1973 overturned laws that prohibited abortion in Texas and made it legal throughout the United States.
Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued before the US Supreme Court in the case of Roe v Wade, which led to abortion legalization across the US, died at the age of 76 on Sunday.
According to Weddington’s student and colleague Susan Hays, the lawyer died while sleeping early Sunday morning. She wrote on Twitter that the lawyer “died this morning after a series of health issues.”
Weddington graduated from law school at the University of Texas in 1965 and two years later she along with her former classmate Linda Coffee filed a lawsuit on behalf of a pregnant woman who was denied access to abortion in Texas, where restrictions were in force at the time that only allowed abortion in cases of rape or if a mother's life was threatened.
The legal action was brought against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade and later advanced to the Supreme Court.
In a historic decision in 1973, the Supreme Court recognized for the first time that the constitutional right to privacy, declared in the Fourteenth Amendment, includes a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy of her own free will, and thus legalized abortion in the country.
The 7-2 ruling said that a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy until the fetus becomes viable, i.e. able to exist outside the woman’s body.
At the time of this decision, almost all US states had laws designating abortion as a criminal offense, except in cases where abortion is necessary when a woman's life was in danger, cases of serious fetal abnormalities, or when the pregnancy resulted from rape.
On December 1, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case concerning a Mississippi abortion law that has the potential to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. The Supreme Court, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, will have to decide whether to uphold a Mississippi state law that bans abortions starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy. A decision is expected by the end of June 2022.
 Pregnancy - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
Texas Abortion Providers Can Sue Over State Law, Can Not Stop Enforcement, Supreme Court Says
The Supreme Court reaffirmed its 1973 ruling in 1992, but eased the legislative protection of abortions, giving states the right to impose their own restrictions on the timing and circumstances of the procedure, provided that this wouldn’t create obstacles for women wishing to terminate pregnancy.
In 1972, while working on the Roe v. Wade case, Weddington also became the first woman to be elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Austin. She served three terms as a state legislator, advocating for women's rights.
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