Death – Sarah Weddington, Roe v. Wade attorney, dead at 76 – Boston 25 News

Death – Obituary

AUSTIN, Texas — Sarah Weddington, who argued for the plaintiff in the landmark Roe v. Wade case before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1970s, died Sunday. She was 76.

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Attorney Susan Hays, a Democratic attorney running for Texas agriculture commissioner who is a former student of Weddington, confirmed her mentor’s death in a Twitter post, The Dallas Morning News reported. Weddington reportedly died in Austin, where she lived, according to the newspaper.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down a 7-2 decision that effectively made abortion legal in the U.S., the Morning News reported. Weddington became the youngest person ever to successfully argue a case before the nation’s highest court.

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Dobbs vs. Mississippi, a case that has the potential to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the Morning News reported.

Sarah Ragle Weddington, was born Feb. 5, 1945, the daughter of a Methodist minister, The New York Times reported. She graduated from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, with a degree in English in 1964 and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law in 1967.

“I thought I would be teaching eighth graders to love ‘Beowulf,’” Weddington told The Guardian in 2017. “But that wasn’t working out so well, so I decided to go to law school instead. In this, I was encouraged by the dean of my college, who told me that it would be far too tough for a woman. ‘As sure as dammit I am going,’ I thought.”

After graduating from law school, Weddington joined a group of students who were seeking to challenge anti-abortion laws, agreeing to file a suit against the state of Texas on their behalf, The Guardian reported. Soon after, 21-year-old Norma Jean McCorvey was referred to Weddington and her colleague, Linda Coffee. McCorvey became the plaintiff, “Jane Roe”, although by the time the Supreme Court issued its ruling, her baby had been born and given up for adoption.

In early March 1970, Roe v. Wade was filed in federal court in Dallas, the Times reported.

Henry Wade was the district attorney in Dallas from 1951 to 1987, known for prosecuting Jack Ruby for his fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of assassinating President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, the Morning News reported.

McCorvey died in 2017 at the age of 69, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Weddington later was a Texas legislator from 1973 to 1977 and a White House assistant to President Jimmy Carter from 1978 to 1981, the newspaper reported.

Weddington also authored the 1992 book, “A Question of Choice.” She was inducted into the Austin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, KXAN-TV reported.

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.