Alabama’s attorney general argued in a court on Thursday that people who help others travel out of state to get abortions can be charged under a conspiracy law.
The filing came as a response to a lawsuit that claimed the legal response was unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs want Alabama to clarify laws that state that those who travel, place or provide financial assistance to out-of-state people seeking abortions cannot be prosecuted.
Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office wrote in the filing, “Elective abortion performed in Alabama would be a criminal offense; thus, a conspiracy formed in the state to perform the same act out of state is illegal.” “Alabama May Decriminalize Alabama-Based Conspiracy to Get Abortions Elsewhere.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that the move would illegally extend Alabama’s regulation of abortion beyond its state limits.
Abortion is illegal at any stage of pregnancy in Alabama.
To date, the Attorney General’s Office has not prosecuted anyone for leaving the state for an abortion. However, abortion rights advocates worry that the officials’ language on the matter could have a negative impact on their work.
The Yellowhammer Fund, which helps low-income patients seeking abortion care in Alabama, discontinued the practice because of the risk of prosecution.
The matter will be heard on 5 September.