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Yellowhammer Fund v. Attorney General of Alabama Steve Marshall

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After Alabama’s attorney general threatened to criminalize people helping pregnant Alabamians access legal abortion care in other states, The Lawyering Project, joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the attorney general from making good on his threat.

The attorney general threatened organizations such as the plaintiff, the Yellowhammer Fund, an organization that provides funding and support to pregnant Alabamians forced to leave the state for legal abortion care. While abortion is banned in Alabama, the state has no power to criminalize people engaging in lawful activity in other states. However, the fear of prosecution forced the Yellowhammer Fund to cease operation of its abortion fund.

The lawsuit describes how the attorney general’s threats violate the Yellowhammer Fund’s rights to free expression, association, travel and due process guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The threats also violate the sovereignty of states that allow abortion. The lawsuit seeks an injunction blocking the attorney general from prosecuting individuals and organizations helping pregnant Alabamians access legal abortion care in other states.

Almost 2,000 people traveled from Alabama to other states to obtain abortion care in 2021 – before abortion was banned in Alabama. The burden of such travel significantly impacts Black people and other communities of color, who are already at a greater risk of criminalization.