April 14, 1989.
On this day, Sarah Weddington, the attorney who argued the case of "Jane Roe" before the United States Supreme Court in the Roe. v. Wade case in 1973, spoke to an audience in the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis. At the time of her Indianapolis speech, heightened interest in the status of abortion rights arose because a case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, was scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court. According to the Sagamore, the IUPUI student newspaper, Weddington confided that "In 1973 we thought the issue was sort of over and we could go on to other things."
Weddington, a recent graduate of the University of Texas law school, took the case of a Texas woman to sue the Texas official who enforced the state's anti-abortion law. She argued her case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 and 1972. At the age of 27, she was the youngest person to appear before the court. The court ruled in her favor in January 1973.
During her appearance at the School of Law in Indianapolis, Weddington noted that (then) recent opposition to abortion from religious groups was spurring challenges to the Roe v. Wade ruling. "The legal issue to me is who gets to make the final decision, the government or the individual," she said. As well, she opined that the "Supreme Court consistently takes into consideration professional opinion, in this case, that of medical professionals." It would be a factor in the pending case.
Many notable speakers have appeared at IUPUI. To learn about them, please contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org.