pre-Roe statutes prohibited “unlawful” abortions. The
statutes themselves did not define what an “unlawful” abortion
was, nor was the word given an authoritative interpretation
by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Pursuant to Roe,
the statutes were declared unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania
Supreme Court in a pair of decisions, and were
later repealed. The
pre-Roe statutes would not be revived by a decision
overruling Roe v. Wade. Abortions could be performed
for any reason before the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. Under
a separate statute, however, abortions could be performed after
the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy only to prevent the death
of the pregnant woman or to prevent substantial and irreversible
impairment of a major bodily function.
Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, §§ 4718, 4719
Commonwealth v. Page, 303 A.2d 215 (Pa. 1973); Commonwealth
v. Jackson, 312 A.2d 13 (Pa. 1973).
Laws 639, Act No. 209, § 10.
Cons. Stat. Ann. tit. 18, § 3211 (West 2000).