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Abortion Fund’s Lawsuit Against Alabama’s Attorney General Will Proceed Court Says

05.07.24 (MEDIA ADVISORY) – A federal lawsuit against Alabama’s Attorney General that challenges his threats to prosecute abortion funds will proceed, a federal court said Monday. The lawsuit filed in July 2023 challenges threats made by Alabama’s Attorney General to criminalize people who help pregnant Alabamians leave the state to access legal abortion.

Yellowhammer Fund—an Alabama abortion fund—alleged that the Attorney General’s threats of prosecution were preventing it from providing support to pregnant Alabamians who are forced to leave their home state and often travel hundreds of miles to access legal abortion care. Yellowhammer Fund is represented by Lawyering Project and Southern Poverty Law Center. Attorney General Steve Marshall moved to dismiss the lawsuit in August 2023.

Judge Myron H. Thompson noted that “Alabama can no more restrict people from going to California to engage in what is lawful there than California can restrict people from coming to Alabama to do what is lawful here.”  The ruling rejected the Attorney General’s defense of his threats and explained that Yellowhammer Fund correctly contends “that the Attorney General cannot constitutionally prosecute people for acts taken within the State meant to facilitate lawful out of state conduct, including obtaining an abortion.” 

Judge Thompson’s ruling means the Attorney General’s attempt to end the litigation has failed and the lawsuit will continue. Last year, the court consolidated Yellowhammer’s lawsuit with a similar lawsuit filed by healthcare providers in Alabama.  Judge Thompson allowed both cases to proceed in yesterday’s ruling.  The providers are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).