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The pre-Roe statute allowed abortion on demand prior to viability,1 and impliedly prohibited abortion after viability.2  Section 18.16.010(d) was repealed in 1997.3  The provision of the pre-Roe statute that prohibited post-viability abortions would not be revived by a decision overruling Roe v. Wade.  Abortions could be performed for any reason at any stage of pregnancy.4  Regardless of Roe, any attempt to prohibit abortion (at least before viability) in Alaska would be barred by the Alaska Supreme Court’s decision recognizing a fundamental right to abortion on state constitutional grounds (privacy).5


1 Alaska Stat. § 11.15.060 (1970), renumbered as § 18.16.010 in 1978 and reorganized in 1986.  See Alaska Stat. § 18.16.010 (Michie 1994).

2 Id. § 11.15.060(a) (second sentence), renumbered as § 18.16.010(a) (second sentence) in 1978, and reorganized as § 18.16.010(d) in 1986.

3 1997 Alaska Sess. Laws ch. 14, § 6.

4 See Alaska Stat. §§ 18.16.010(a)(1), -(2) (Michie 2004).

5 Valley Hospital Ass’n v. Mat-Su Coalition for Choice, 948 P.2d 963, 969 (Alaska 1997) (defining the scope of the fundamental right to an abortion as “similar to that expressed in Roe v. Wade”).  In a decision reviewing Alaska’s parental consent statute four years later, the Alaska Supreme Court reaffirmed this holding.  See State of Alaska v. Planned Parenthood of Alaska, 35 P.3d 30, 35-39 (Alaska 2001).


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May be reprinted without permission but with attribution to the Life Legal Defense Fund.