Quick Takes

DOJ considering intervention in Alabama abortion lawsuit

By: - November 6, 2023 7:00 am
A sign saying Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. (File)

The U.S. Department of Justice is considering intervening in a lawsuit seeking to stop Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall from prosecuting those who help people obtain out-of-state abortion care, according to a notice filed Wednesday.

“The United States hereby advises the Court that it is considering participating in this litigation by filing a Statement of Interest … which authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to send any officer of the Department of Justice to ‘attend to the interests of the United States in a suit pending in a court of the United States, or in the courts of a State, or to attend to any other interest of the United States,’” the notice stated.


The filing said DOJ will make a decision by Nov. 9.

Health care providers sue Alabama officials over threats of prosecution in abortion aid

The lawsuit, filed on July 31 by former abortion providers in the state, cited comments made by Marshall in an August 2022 radio interview, where he suggested Alabamians helping people obtain legal abortion care in other states could face felony prosecutions.

The lawsuit alleges Marshall’s comments and the threat of prosecution forced health care providers to cease providing critical information, counseling and practical support to Alabamians exercising their constitutional right to access medical care across state lines.

After the lawsuit was filed, Marshall renewed his threats to prosecute out-of-state abortion care.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson postponed a hearing set for Oct. 31 postponed earlier that month, and the hearing has not been rescheduled.


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Alander Rocha
Alander Rocha

Alander Rocha is a journalist based in Montgomery, and he reports on government, policy and healthcare. He previously worked for KFF Health News and the Red & Black, Georgia's student newspaper. He is a Tulane and Georgia alumnus with a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.