Alabama Abortion Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Alabama has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, including parental notification requirements that mandate court hearings if a minor does not wish to get parental permission. Additionally, Alabama never repealed the anti-abortion criminal statute made unconstitutional by Roe v. Wade.

Alabama Statutes

Abortion laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama 13A-13-7: Inducing or attempting to induce abortion, miscarriage or premature delivery of woman;

Code of Alabama 26-21-1, et seq.: Parental consent to performing abortion upon a minor;

Code of Alabama 26-22-1, et seq.: Abortion of a viable unborn child

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion

Willfully administers by drug, substance, instrument which induces abortion or miscarriage. Partial Birth Abortion (26-23-1 to 26-23-6): Any physician who performs a partial birth abortion within this state and thereby kills a human fetus shall be guilty of a Class C felony and upon conviction shall be punished as prescribed by law. (except to save life of mother.)

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion

Necessary purpose to preserve life, health of mother or where fetus is not viable

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

Fine of $100 to $1,000 and imprisonment to 12 months; abortion of viable fetus: Class A felony; violation of regulations concerning abortion procedures: Class C felony

Consent Requirements

Written consent of parent or guardian to perform abortion on unemancipated minor or judicial waiver of consent;

New requirements under HB 494:

  • Juvenile court may appoint a lawyer to represent the unborn child;
  • Minor must submit evidence that she understands the medical procedure and that she has been counseled by a qualified person on the alternatives to abortion;
  • Court must notify the district attorney and district attorney must participate as an advocate for the state and to examine the girl and any witnesses to help the court make an informed decision; and
  • Court may not contact the parents or legal guardians, but if they otherwise know of the case, they can participate in the proceedings.

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Abortion of viable fetus must be performed by a physician, in a hospital, with concurrence of 2nd licensed physician as to viability

The national debate surrounding abortion has continued to divide the country, even after Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, and abortion laws have continued to change over that time. While women have a Constitutional right to choose whether to end a pregnancy during the first trimester and abortion in the United States is technically legal, states are allowed to regulate certain aspects of abortion and, like Alabama, some have done so heavily.

Supreme Court Ruling: Admitting Privileges and Surgery Capabilities

The validity of Alabama law requiring abortion clinics to conform to the same structural standards as surgery centers and the requirement that providers have hospital privileges (which was put on hold pending legal decisions) is in question. On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against similar restrictions in Texas (Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt). The decision in that case will likely affect Alabama's law as well.

Alabama Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Deciding whether to have an abortion has serious emotional consequences, and could have legal implications as well. You can contact a health care attorney in Alabama if you would like legal assistance with an abortion matter, or just want to know your rights and responsibilities. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Abortion, Birth Control, and Health Care Law for additional articles and information on this topic.

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