New Jersey Abortion Laws and Cases, 1840s - 1920s

The decision in State v. Cooper, that it was not a criminal act to cause a miscarriage before the fetus had "quickened," was immediately reponded to by the New Jersey legislature.  The abortion laws below and the case of State v. Cooper should thus be read in conjunction The "obscenity laws" equated the distribution of information about abortion or contraception with the distribution of obscene or indecent books, pamphlets or materials, and made both a crime.

New Jersey Abortion Laws
 1849 Abortion Law - "Quickening"
1868 Obscenity Law - "Comstock Law"
1869 Obscenity Law - "Comstock Law"
1872 Abortion Law - Revision of 1849
1881 Abortion Law - Revision of 1872
 1898 Obscenity Law - Revision of "Comstock Laws"

New Jersey Abortion Cases
State v. Cooper (1849) - to cause or procure an abortion before the child is "quick" is not a crime.
State v. Gedicke (1881) - rules if evidence in an abortion case
Powe v. the State (1886)
State v. Wilson (1910)
State v. Mandeville (1916) - rules of evidence in an abortion case.
State v. Bricker (1922) - dying declarations in abortion cases.

Reading: Leslie J. Reagan, When Abortion Was a crime: Women, Medicine, and the Law in the United States, 1867-1973 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).