Alabama’s Republican attorney general said in a court filing that he has the right to prosecute people who make travel arrangements for pregnant women to have out-of-state abortions.
In a court filing Monday, attorneys for Attorney General Steve Marshall wrote that providing transportation for women in Alabama to leave the state to get an abortion could amount to a “criminal conspiracy.”
The court filing comes in response to lawsuits against Marshall that was filed in July from two women’s health centers and Yellowhammer Fund, an organization which says it provides “financial and practical support for those who are pregnant and require assistance.” The plaintiffs argue that Marshall violated their constitutional rights by publicly stating that organizations which help pregnant women in Alabama get an abortion out of state could be criminally investigated.
“Alabama can no more regulate out-of-state abortions than another state can deem its laws legalizing abortions to apply to Alabama,” the Yellowhammer Fund lawsuit argues.
Marshall is now asking Judge Myron Thompson to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that helping a woman avoid Alabama’s restrictions by facilitating an abortion elsewhere is a conspiracy.
“The conspiracy is what is being punished, even if the final conduct never occurs,” Marshall’s filing states. “That conduct is Alabama-based and is within Alabama’s power to prohibit.”
Alabama has one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. In the wake of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision last summer, several Republican-led states passed strict anti-abortion laws, while several others, including Alabama, that had passed so-called trigger laws anticipating an eventual overturn of Roe v. Wade saw their new restrictions go into effect.
The filing got the attention of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, who wrote on X Wednesday, “California will NOT cooperate with any state that attempts to prosecute women or doctors for receiving or providing reproductive care.”
Thompson has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to consider Marshall’s motion to dismiss the case.