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Sarah Weddington, Roe v. Wade lawyer, dies at 76

Susan Hays was Weddington's former student. She said that she died in her sleep at her Austin home on Sunday morning. Hays said that Weddington was in poor health for some time, and that it wasn't immediately clear why she died.

Weddington was raised in Abilene, West Texas as the daughter of a minister. She then attended law school at Texas. After graduating from law school, Weddington and Linda Coffee filed a class-action lawsuit in behalf of a pregnant lady challenging a Texas law that banned abortions.

"Jane Roe" was a case brought against Henry Wade, Dallas County District Attorney. It was eventually referred to the Supreme Court.

Weddington presented the case twice before the high court, once in December 1971, and again in October 1972. The 7-2 ruling in 1972 legalized abortion nationwide.

The Supreme Court is currently considering Weddington's case about Mississippi's ban against abortions after 15 weeks. This case is widely considered to be the most serious challenge to Roe's decision in many years.

While the case was before the court Weddington ran for Austin's House of Representatives seat. After being elected in 1972, she served three terms as a state legislator before becoming general counsel of U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also worked as an advisor on women's issues for President Jimmy Carter.

Later, Weddington wrote a book about Roe v. Wade and gave lectures at Texas Women's University and Texas Women's University. She also taught courses on leadership, law, and gender discrimination. Even in her later years, she was active in politics and the legal worlds. She attended the 2019 signing ceremony of a New York law that would protect abortion rights in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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