BOSTON (State House News Service) — A new hotline went live Monday morning to offer free and confidential legal advice to patients seeking reproductive and abortion care in Massachusetts, including those who do not live in the state.
The Reproductive Equity Now Foundation launched the hotline with the state attorney general, the Women's Bar Foundation, the ACLU of Massachusetts and five big-name law firms offering pro-bono legal advice.
During a press conference in her office flanked by some of Massachusetts' most powerful woman political leaders, Attorney General Andrea Campbell promoted the Abortion Legal Hotline Monday morning.
Reproductive rights were a major part of Campbell's campaign, and she has promised to create a cross-bureau reproductive justice unit in her office. The push toward expanding abortion care comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson last June to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion.
"One of the results of the Dobbs decision has been misinformation, misinformation about which services are legal, deception about where to receive health care services; lies intended to discourage women from accessing basic reproductive care," U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said at the press conference. "With this hotline, Massachusetts is fighting back against misinformation, deception, and outright lies."
After the Dobbs decision, Massachusetts passed a law designed to protect providers and patients who receive abortions in Massachusetts from criminal prosecution from extraterritorial jurisdiction in other states.
"We have been preparing for passage of these draconian, anti-abortion, anti-science laws by ensuring that clinicians in the commonwealth can continue to provide loving and compassionate care, and patients seeking that care in Massachusetts can access it," said Reproductive Equity Now President Rebecca Hart Holder. "So here's the bottom line: today abortion remains legal in Massachusetts and no anti-abortion extremists should be able to reach across our borders and challenge that."
Warren said the hotline "ensures that both health care providers and patients can confidently go to one centralized place for free to learn about the protections afforded to them under the law."
The hotline was live as of 7 a.m. on Monday at (833) 309-6301.
Written by Sam Drysdale/SHNS