Texas Woman’s University gets collection from lawyer who argued ‘Roe’ case

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Posted at 7:01 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 20:01:26-05

Papers, pictures and other artifacts belonging to Sarah Weddington, a Texas lawyer who at the age of 26 successfully argued the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court, will become part of Texas Woman’s University’s permanent collection.

The university in Denton said Tuesday that before Weddington died at 76 in December, she donated her papers to TWU’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership.

“This collection provides a trove of interesting artifacts that will give researchers a veritable front-row seat to historical events affecting women’s issues,” said Mary Anne Alhadeff, the institute’s executive director and chief officer.

A couple of years after graduating from law school at the University of Texas at Austin, Weddington and a former classmate, Linda Coffee, brought a lawsuit challenging a state law that largely banned abortions. Roe v. Wade eventually advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Weddington was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972 and served three terms as a state lawmaker before becoming general counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and later working as an adviser on women’s issues to President Jimmy Carter.

Weddington later gave lectures and taught courses at TWU and the University of Texas at Austin.