Sarah Weddington, attorney who argued Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court, dies at 76

Sarah Weddington, attorney who argued Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court, dies at 76
Pattymooney, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Attorney and women's rights activist, Sarah Weddington, spoke at the 2004 March for Women's Lives in Washington DC. Photograph by Patty Mooney of San Diego, California

Texas lawyer Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, died Sunday at the age of 76. Weddington was just 26 years old when she brought a class-action lawsuit challenging Texas’s ban on abortions all the way to the Supreme Court. The court’s 1973 ruling set a precedent legalizing abortion nationwide that stands to this day. In 2012, Sarah Weddington spoke with KPBS Public Television about her long legal career.

Sarah Weddington: “You look back as I was growing up, and there were so many limits on what women could do. Women couldn’t even run full court in basketball. We got half court and two dribbles. We didn’t get credit unless our fathers or our husbands signed for us. Now most people get a credit card offer every week. We didn’t get to make decisions about our own reproductive. We didn’t get to go to law school. I was in the first group of women who went to law school. We didn’t get equal pay. And so, what we’ve been doing all these years is trying to push back barriers so that women could make more decisions.”

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court’s conservative justices appeared ready to dramatically roll back Roe v. Wade as they heard oral arguments on a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.


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