Alabama Attorney General Says State Can Prosecute Those Who Help Women Procure Procedure, Dismisses Pro-Abortion Lawsuit
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is moving forward with plans to prosecute those who help women go out of state to procure an abortion.
According to AL.com, after filing a motion to dismiss a pending lawsuit filed by providers, the ACLU and Yellowhammer Fund – which acted as a resource for women in Alabama seeking abortions before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision – Marshall said the state would investigate potential conspiracy or accessory charges against individuals and groups who assist women seeking out-of-state procedures.
“If someone was promoting themselves out as a funder of abortions out of state, then that is potentially criminally actionable for us,” Marshall said. “One of the things we will do in working with local prosecutors is making sure that we fully implement this law. There’s nothing about that law that restricts any individual from driving across state lines and seeking an abortion in another place. However, I would say that if an individual held themselves out as an entity or a group that is using funds that they are able to raise to facilitate those visits, then that’s something we’re going to look at closely.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to leave the right to an abortion up to state jurisdiction allows for officials like Marshall to ultimately pursue criminal charges due to the legality of the procedure.
“Though abortion may be legal elsewhere, it is plainly illegal pursuant to Ala. Code § 13A-4-4 for Plaintiffs to conspire with others to procure abortions that would be illegal in Alabama,” Marshall’s motion argues. “The criminal conduct is the agreement (the conspiracy) itself, which is conduct that occurs in Alabama that Alabama has every right to prosecute. Thus, the legality of abortion in other States is irrelevant to whether Alabama can prosecute a conspiracy formed in Alabama.”
According to AL.com, Alabama has outlawed nearly all abortions in the state, including some that would be seen as life-saving; going as far as labeling the performance of the procedure a class A felony, which could potentially carry a life sentence.