Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement on Tuesday in response to a U.S. Department of Justice opinion that suggests U.S. postal service carriers could deliver abortion pills in states where abortion is illegal, calling the guidance “illegal and dangerous.”
“Promoting the remote prescription and administration of abortion pills endangers both women and unborn children,” Marshall said in the statement. “Elective abortion—including abortion pills—is illegal in Alabama. Nothing about the Justice Department’s guidance changes that. Anyone who remotely prescribes abortion pills in Alabama does so at their own peril: I will vigorously enforce Alabama law to protect unborn life.”
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) altered regulations about two abortion medications: mifepristone and misoprostol. The change will allow brick-and-mortar pharmacies to ship the drugs through the mail. The U.S. Department of Justice’s opinion suggested that the pills could be delivered to states where abortion is illegal.
Alabama’s near-total ban on abortion under the Human Life Protection Act of 2019 went into effect in June after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing states to make abortion illegal if they fit.
The Human Life Protection Act lists punishments for those who perform or assist in abortions, but mothers can’t be held criminally or civilly liable for having an abortion. However, Marshall said that they would not necessarily be exempt from other laws, such as the chemical-endangerment law, which the Alabama Supreme Court ruled in 2014 protects unborn children.
Pro-life groups have raised concerns in the past that legal loopholes could leave the door open for alternative forms of abortion in the state.
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