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United States: lawyer who obtained abortion rights died


Sarah Weddington passed away at the age of 76, after having worked for abortion rights in the United States.

The news fell this Monday, December 27: she died of “a series of health problems”, as reported on Twitter Susan Hays, one of her former students.

The “Roe v. Wade “

In 1973, before the Supreme Court of the United States, the lawyer pleaded for the first case of her career, barely out of law school, accompanied by her colleague Linda Coffee.

It was then the case of “Jane Roe”, her real name Norma McCorvey, brought against the prosecutor of Dallas Henry Wade; renamed the case “Roe v. Wade ”. The two lawyers had resorted to a collective to defend this woman who challenged a law of the State of Texas prohibiting abortions. They had obtained a positive result and the Court then expressed itself in favor of the right to abortion.

However, the right to abortion in the United States is not based on federal law but on case law. In 1922, new conditions were introduced: women retain their rights as long as the fetus is not “viable”, ie until 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. While many Supreme Court justices would like to amend or see this law disappear, United States President Joe Biden is campaigning for it. He said on December 1 that he continued to support the “Roe. v. Wade ”.