This fall, Meredith College’s Department of Theatre invites you to see Roe, running Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 1 and 2 at 2:00 p.m. An important reminder of how the fight for abortion rights began, “Roe tells the story of how Sarah Weddington came to argue the case [of Roe v. Wade] at the age of 26, how Norma McCorvey (Roe) became involved and what transpired in both their lives after the landmark ruling,” Director Lormarev Jones explained. “The story is told from the perspective of these two women from very different backgrounds whose lives intersect at a flashpoint moment and then are forever intertwined.”
McCorvey was twenty-two years old when she discovered she was pregnant for a second time. She was unmarried at the time with no stable income and no support system. She wanted to terminate the pregnancy, but she lived in Texas where abortions were prohibited unless they were to save the mother’s life. She went to two unlikely Dallas attorneys, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, recent graduates of the University of Texas Law School, who were looking for a case to challenge the law.
Weddington didn’t seem like the right person to argue this case. She was the daughter of a Methodist minister and headed her highschool chapter of the Future Homemakers of America. Despite having had an abortion herself, she hadn’t planned to join the movement for abortion rights. She only began to look into the Texan law related to it when a few of her college friends, who would refer expecting women to doctors willing to perform abortions, asked her if they were considered accomplices. That question piqued her interest, and she began looking into Texan law regarding abortion. Her research led her to Linda Coffee, and the rest is history.
As of June 2022, the right to have an abortion in the United States is no longer guaranteed. When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, women, men and those who don’t fit into gender binaries mourned its loss nationwide. This monumental decision serves as an important reminder of why Roe is important for students to go see.
Despite the grave historical context of the play, it offers a safe place to contemplate the rights that were established and the rights that have been lost. Jones hopes to facilitate more healthy and civil conversations about it. “[Roe] will always be relevant to anyone who has a uterus, regardless of where they fall on the issue,” Jones stated. “It is also relevant to anyone queer, in an interracial relationship or anyone who utilizes birth control . . . The Dobbs ruling affects so much more than reproductive health.”
Many of our rights hang in balance due to the Right of Privacy Statute. But despite the feeling of hopelessness many feel when thinking about the Dobbs decision, there is still hope. There is always hope. That’s what Roe represents.
By Cecilia Thompson, Contributing Writer