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Abortion Bans


Indiana outlaws abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect women's health or for cases in which the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  Indiana amended its previous post-viability abortion ban to apply previability. The law now makes abortion after viability or 20 weeks, whichever is earlier, a criminal act, unless necessary to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the woman.  Ind. Code Ann. §§ 16-34-2-0.5 (Enacted 2011), 16-34-2-1 to -7 (Enacted 1997).

Indiana also has an unconstitutional and unenforceable criminal ban that outlaws abortion procedures provided as early as 12 weeks.  Indiana's ban is unconstitutional according to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart.  530 U.S. 914 (2000).  In Stenberg, the court held that a similar ban, which had no exception to protect a woman's health and was written so broadly as to ban more than one procedure, placed an undue burden on a woman's right to choose.  Indiana's unconstitutional and unenforceable ban makes any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony unless a physician reasonably believes it necessary to preserve the woman's life and no other medical procedure will suffice.  Ind. Code Ann. §§ 16-18-2-267.5 (Enacted 1997), 16-34-2-1(b) (Original Statute Enacted 1973; Recodified 1993; Relevant Provision Enacted 1997), 16-34-2-7 (Original Statute Enacted 1973; Recodified 1993; Relevant Provision Enacted 1997).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits the provision of certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman's health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure.  Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.

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