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The pre-Roe statutes prohibited performance of an abortion on a pregnant woman unless the procedure was “necessary to preserve her life,”1 and made a woman’s participation in her own abortion a criminal offense (subject to the same exception).2  Both statutes were repealed in 1977,3 and neither would be revived by a decision overruling Roe v. Wade.  Abortions could be performed for any reason before viability.  Under a separate statute, however, abortions after viability could be performed only to prevent substantial permanent impairment to the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.4


1 Ind. Code Ann. § 35-1-58-1 (Burns 1971).

2 Id. § 35-1-58-2.  No prosecutions were reported under this statute.

3 1977 Ind. Acts 1513, 1524, Pub. L. No. 335, § 21.  In Cheaney v. State, 285 N.E.2d 265 (Ind. 1972), cert. denied for want of standing of petitioner, 410 U.S. 991 (1973), the Indiana Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the state abortion statute brought by a nonphysician who had been convicted of performing an abortion.

4 See Ind. Code Ann. § 16-34-2-1(a)(3) (Michie Supp. 2004).


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