Attorney Who Won Roe v. Wade Dead At 76

 Sarah Weddington, the attorney who represented “Jane Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died.

She was 76 years old.

Weddington passed away in her Austin, Texas home on Sunday, according to Susan Hays, Weddington’s former student and colleague. She had reportedly been battling health issues for several years before her death.

A minister’s daughter and Texas native, Weddington went to law school at the University of Texas and later teamed up with her former classmate Linda Coffee to bring a class-action lawsuit challenging Texas’ abortion ban.

During their search for plaintiffs, Weddington and Coffee met Norma McCorvey, who was pregnant at the time with her third child and wanted an abortion. McCorvey was 22 at the time and had struggled with drug abuse and poverty. McCorvey died in 2017 at 69.

Weddington successfully represented McCorvey, referred to in court documents as “Jane Roe,” in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. The case was initially brought against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade and eventually advanced to the nation’s highest court.

McCorvey gave birth to her child and placed the baby up for adoption while the lawsuit was still ongoing. She later converted to Catholicism and became a pro-life advocate, but toward the end of her life she suggested that her conversion and activism were financially motivated.

“Sarah Weddington was a Texas giant,” Texas state Rep. John Bucy, a Democrat representing the Austin area, wrote in a Sunday tweet.

“Her passion for reproductive freedom was matched by her compassion for our neighbors,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett, another Austin Democrat, said in a statement.

“She shows the tremendous impact that one determined woman can make. With Sarah gone, it is more important than ever to ensure that the fundamental constitutional freedom for which she secured recognition from our highest court is not also gone,” Doggett said.

Every year since Roe v. Wade was decided, pro-life Americans have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life on the anniversary of the court’s decision. Thousands of pro-life students, mothers, fathers, and others march down Constitution Avenue and up to the steps of the Supreme Court to protest legalized abortion.

Texas recently passed an abortion bill known as a “heartbeat law,” which bans almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected at around six weeks of pregnancy. The law directly conflicts with Roe v. Wade, and litigation challenging it is ongoing.

The Texas law, which went into effect on Sep. 1, does not make exceptions for abortions in cases of rape and incest. The only time the law permits abortions is when the life of the mother is at stake or the pregnancy could cause “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

In addition, the Texas law allows private citizens to launch civil lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. At least one such lawsuit has already been filed.

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