Death of the lawyer who obtained the right to abortion


A figure in the right to abortion in the United States, lawyer Sarah Weddington, died this Sunday at the age of 76, one of her former students said on Twitter.

In 1973, Sarah Weddington and fellow lawyer Linda Coffee successfully filed a class action lawsuit in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of a pregnant woman challenging a law in the state of Texas that prohibited abortions. .

« A series of health problems »

“She pleaded with Linda Coffee in what was the first case of her career, Roe v. Wade, when she was just out of law school, ”Susan Hays, one of Sarah Weddington’s former students, wrote on Twitter. « She was my teacher » and « opened my eyes to the fragility of my rights and my freedom, » she said, adding that the lawyer had succumbed to « a series of health problems. « .

The “Jane Roe” case – real name Norma McCorvey – brought against Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade ultimately came to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of abortion rights. The right to abortion in the United States – which is not guaranteed by federal law – has since been based on this jurisprudence: the landmark Supreme Court decision, “Roe v. Wade ‘from 1973.

A stop that can « collapse »

In this judgment, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guaranteed the right of women to have an abortion and that the States could not deprive them of it. In 1992, she clarified that this right was valid as long as the fetus is not « viable », that is to say around 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, a majority of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States seems today tempted to modify this legal framework which for nearly 50 years has guaranteed the right of American women to have an abortion, either by restricting it or by simply canceling it.

US President Joe Biden assured on December 1 that he “continued” to support the “Roe v. Wade ”, which founded the right to abortion in the United States. The landmark Roe v. Wade “looks like a house on the edge of a beach and threatening to take water and collapse,” Sarah Weddington warned in 1998.

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