Sarah Weddington, Attorney Who Successfully Argued Roe v. Wade, Dead at 76

Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington
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Sarah Weddington, the Texas lawyer who successfully argued the 1973 landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died. She was 76.

Weddington's former student and colleague, Susan Hays, announced on Twitter that the attorney died Sunday morning in her Austin home "after a series of health issues."

"Sarah Weddington was a Texas giant," Texas state Rep. John Bucy tweeted. "From litigating Roe v. Wade, to serving in the Texas House, to supporting countless women in politics, she has left a legacy of fighting for progress that is nearly unmatched."

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Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington

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In March 1970, Norma McCorvey, a pregnant waitress in Dallas, sued Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade and took on Texas' restrictive laws against abortions under the pseudonym Jane Roe.

RELATED: Woman Whose Conception Sparked Roe v. Wade Case Breaks Silence: 'I'm Keeping a Secret but I Hate It'

Weddington was 26 years old and a recent law school graduate when she represented McCorvey and first argued the case before the Supreme Court in December 1971. She later argued the case again in October 1972 before its 7-2 ruling the following year that secured abortion rights nationwide.

Weddington later wrote a book on the landmark case and spent the years since giving lectures and teaching classes at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas Women's University on leadership, law and gender discrimination, according to the Associated Press.

RELATED: Norma McCorvey, Plaintiff in Landmark Roe v. Wade Abortion Case, Dies at 69

Sarah Weddington
Sarah Weddington

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

She was also a Texas state representative, serving in the state House from between 1972 and 1977, later becoming a general counsel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, The Hill reports.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas released a statement on the death of Weddington, calling the late attorney a "reproductive rights champion" who "grew up at a time when women faced limits and roadblocks in nearly every aspect of their lives."

"As a young Texas lawyer, she stood fearlessly before the U.S. Supreme Court generating the landmark abortion rights decision that changed the course of history and opened doors for the generations that followed," the statement read. "Here in Austin, Sarah graciously shared her time and insights, mentored countless young people, and inspired staff and supporters at events on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. We are all deeply saddened by her loss."

Weddington's death comes as the Supreme Court is considering a case in Mississippi that challenges Roe v. Wade and could ban abortions after 15 weeks.