From Sarah Weddington’s Oral Argument in Roe v. Wade


I think it's without question that pregnancy to a woman can completely disrupt her life.

Whether she's unmarried; whether she's pursuing an education; whether she's pursuing a career; whether she has family problems; all of the problems of personal and family life, for a woman, are bound up in the problem of abortion.

For example, in our State there are many schools where a woman is forced to quit if she becomes pregnant. In the City of Austin that is true. A woman, if she becomes pregnant, and is in high school, must drop out of regular education process. And that's true of some colleges in our State.

In the matter of employment, she often is forced to quit at an early point in her pregnancy. She has no provision for maternity leave. She has.. she cannot get unemployment compensation under our laws, because the laws hold that she is not eligible for employment, being pregnant, and therefore is eligible for no unemployment compensation.

At the same time, she can get no welfare to help her at a time when she has no unemployment compensation and she's not eligible for any help in getting a job to provide for herself. There is no duty for employers to rehire women if they must drop out to carry a pregnancy to term.

And, of course, this is especially hard on the many women in Texas who are heads of their own households and must provide for their already existing children.

And, obviously, the responsibility of raising a child is a most serious one, and at times an emotional investment that must be made, cannot be denied. So, a pregnancy to a woman is perhaps one of the most determinative aspects of her life.

It disrupts her body. It disrupts her education. It disrupts her employment. And it often disrupts her entire family life.

And we feel that, because of the impact on the woman, this certainly - in as far as there are any rights which are fundamental is a matter which is of such fundamental and basic concern to the woman involved that she should be allowed to make the choice as to whether to continue or to terminate her pregnancy.