Justice Department: Alabama can't prosecute people over out-of-state abortions

Alabama plans to prosecute people who help women leave the state if they get abortions. The Justice Department has formally determined that it cannot do this, stating its position as part of lawsuits against Attorney General Steve Marshall.

The Justice Department filed a statement of its position in consolidated lawsuits against Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, arguing that such prosecutions would be unconstitutional. The lawsuits, filed by an abortion fund and former providers, seek a court ruling clarifying the state can't use conspiracy statutes to prosecute people who help Alabama women travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion. Marshall has not prosecuted anyone for providing such assistance, but he has made statements saying that his office would "look at" groups that provide abortion help.

The Justice Department argued in the filing that the U.S. Constitution protects the right to travel.

Abortion is effectively illegal in Alabama after the U.S. Supreme Court's overturned of Roe v. Wade, with no exceptions for rape and incest.