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Indiana Abortion Laws

Indiana abortion laws are generally similar to other states, but with standard consent requirements, strict facility codes, a waiting period, and other statutory obstacles. The Hoosier State also requires a fully licensed doctor to perform the procedure, which must be done in a hospital if after the first trimester. Indiana also requires unemancipated minors to seek consent from at least one parent before getting an abortion.

Indiana Statutes

The table below lists the basic provisions of Indiana abortion laws.

Code Section

16-34-1-1 et seq.

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

Any abortion not as provided for in 1st or 2nd trimester. Partial Birth Abortion: A person may not lawfully or knowingly perform a partial birth abortion unless a physician reasonably believes it is necessary to save the life of the mother and that no other medical procedure is sufficient

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

During first trimester with mother's consent based on physician's professional and medical judgement; after first trimester but before viability, permissible with mother's consent and if performed in hospital or surgical center; after viability, procedure necessary to prevent impairment of life, health of mother and performed in hospital with premature birth care unit and with 2nd physician present

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Class C felony; Statute, Class A misdemeanor for not meeting proper consent requirements

Consent Requirements

Written consent of mother, not applicable in emergency; if unemancipated minor under 18 yrs. old, performing abortion not in accordance with written consent of one parent or legal guardian; court can waive parental consent requirement; not applicable in emergency

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

First trimester: professional judgment of attending licensed M.D.; second trimester, before viability: same as first and licensed hospital; after viability: same as second and reasons for procedure regarding mother certified by M.D. to hospital.

As more time passes since the biggest abortion case, Roe v. Wade, was decided, abortion laws continue to change. That landmark case made abortion in the United States legal, and since then women have had a Constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion during the early stages of her pregnancy. States, however, can regulate certain aspects of abortion after the first trimester, and are permitted to impose counseling, waiting periods, and other requirements. After the second trimester there's little or no legal way to have an abortion (unless a patient’s life is in danger).

Indiana Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Navigating the emotional and legal ramifications of abortion can be particularly difficult. You can visit FindLaw’s sections on abortion, birth control, and health care law for more articles and resources. If you would like legal advice, or just want to know your rights and responsibilities, you can consult with a health care attorney in Indiana.

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