Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked a federal court on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him by a group that facilitates abortions for Alabama residents.

Marshall said, "Plaintiffs next argue that their First Amendment rights to speech, expression, and association are violated because they cannot conspire to procure out-of-state abortions. But it is well settled that speech used to conduct a crime receives no constitutional protection; the same is true for the right to associate. Otherwise, all criminal conspiracies would be constitutionally protected criminal "associations." 

"Likewise, the right to travel, to the extent that it is even implicated, does not grant Plaintiffs the right to carry out a criminal conspiracy simply because they propose to do so by purchasing bus passes or driving cars," he added in the filing.

Alabama bans abortion entirely except for "a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother." 

Marshall has said that under Alabama's accessory and conspiracy provisions, those who help arrange and fund out-of-state abortions could be held criminally liable.

"If someone was promoting themselves out as a funder of abortions out of state, that is potentially criminally actionable for us. If there are groups promoting this as part of their services, we will be taking a look at that," he said on FM Talk 106.5 in 2022.

Citing those comments, the Yellowhammer Fund, an Alabama organization that facilitates out-of-state abortions, sued Marshall in July.

According to the Yellowhammer Fund, Marshall's comments violated their "constitutional rights to free expression, association, travel, and due process and intrude on the sovereignty of states where abortion is legal."

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on X, the social media platform also known as Twitter, about Marshall's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, "California will NOT cooperate with any state that attempts to prosecute women or doctors for receiving or providing reproductive care."

Marshall responded, "We aren't asking for your permission, (Gov. Gavin Newsom). Alabama will not permit abortionists to defy our laws and enrich themselves by marketing hopelessness to women."

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