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Yellowhammer Fund v. Attorney General of Alabama (Alabama)

(Case No. 2:23-cv-00450)

This civil rights action asks a federal court to prevent the Alabama Attorney General from making good on his threats to criminalize people that help pregnant Alabamians leave the state to access legal abortion.

The Attorney General’s threats specifically target helpers like the Yellowhammer Fund, an organization that seeks to resume providing funding and practical support to pregnant Alabamians who are forced to leave their home state and often travel hundreds of miles to access legal abortion care.  Indeed, abortion funds like the Yellowhammer Fund do more than simply provide aid; they send a message of solidarity to those who are persecuted by the State for seeking to control their reproductive health.

Even though Alabama has no power to criminalize lawful activity that takes place in other states, the consequences of the Attorney General’s threats are significant and have forced Yellowhammer Fund to stop operating its abortion fund due to fear of prosecution.

People and organizations that provide aid in helping people exercise rights are often the unsung heroes of protecting civil rights.  Those who participated in the Freedom Rides in Alabama were helpers as were the publishers of The Green Book.  Organizations like the Yellowhammer Fund are helpers in the battle for reproductive justice.

Lawyering Project is litigating this case in Montogomery, Alabama, which is a central location in the battle for civil rights.

The need for abortion funding and support has only increased since the fall of Roe, particularly in Alabama.  Abortion is banned in Alabama, the state has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the country, and Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the country.  In 2021, before abortion was even banned in the state, nearly two thousand people traveled out of state to obtain needed abortion care.  These burdens fall most heavily on Black people and communities of color, people who also face a heightened risk of criminalization.

The Attorney General’s threats violate Yellowhammer Fund’s constitutional rights to free expression, association, travel, and due process and intrude on the sovereignty of states where abortion is legal.



Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall  

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