Cast & Crew
James L. Avery
A television movie about the events leading up to the famous Roe vs. Wade decision ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court, allowing women to obtain abortions legally. In February 1970, Ellen Russell, a poor, pregnant carnival barker in rural Texas, asks an inexperienced attorney, Sarah Weddington, to help her in a ground-breaking suit against the district attorney of Dallas so that she can have an abortion (then illegal under Texas law). The district court's refusal to issue an injunction prevents Russell from legally terminating the pregancy, and she is ultimately forced to give away her newly born baby. In the meantime, the suit places personal and financial strains on attorney Weddington.
James L. Avery
David L Crowley
Joe Ann Fogle
Ronald R Reiss
Newton Thomas Sigel
Jon Gary Steele
W.g. Snuffy Walden
Winner Golden Plaque award at 1990 Chicago International Film Festival in category of Feature Films Made TV. (Tied with "Winnie.")
Winner of American Women in Radio and Television's 15th annual commendation award in the entertainment category.
Winner of the 1989 Golden Eagle Award in the Television Entertainment category from the Council on International Nontheatrical Events (CINE).
Winner of the 1989 Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for sexual responsibility in the media in the entertainment special category. Presented by The Center for Population Options.
Winner of the annual Maggie Awards competition in the TV entertainment category. Sponsored by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and named after founder Margaret Sanger, the award recognizes "outstanding media projects dealing with issues of sexuality education, AIDS, contraception, teenage pregnancy, international family planning, abortion and other reproductive concerns."
Aired in United States 1992
Aired in United States May 15, 1989
Released in United States on Video February 22, 1990
Completed shooting in April 1989.
NBC presented a one-hour news special following the movie, examining the political, social, and religious ramifications of the abortion issue that have arisen since the Supreme Court's controversial 1973 landmark decision legalizing abortion.