State Watch

Oregon DOJ launches legal help line for abortion access

Associated Press/Craig Mitchelldyer
FILE – Protesters hold signs protesting against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Portland, Ore., Friday, June 24, 2022. Some abortion providers serving rural Western communities in states like Oregon where abortion remains legal worry access could be a challenge as more patients travel to their clinics from states where the procedure is banned or greatly restricted. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

The Oregon Department of Justice on Monday launched the Oregon Reproductive Rights Hotline, a help line aimed at providing free legal advice for people seeking access to abortions.

“Even in a state like ours, where abortion is legal, confusion and fear has ensued since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to obtain an abortion last June,” the state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement.

Sunday would have marked the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that established the constitutional right to abortion. Last summer, the court struck down Roe and handed the regulation of abortion over to individual states.

Some states moved immediately to further restrict or ban access to abortion procedures, while others, including Oregon, are working to strengthen protections.

Oregon’s new hotline, to be staffed by lawyers at local firms, will help callers navigate “the post-Roe era” and “understand the status of our reproductive health laws,” Rosenblum said.

“This is especially important because we share a border with Idaho, which has a near-total abortion ban,” the attorney general added.

Abortions in Oregon went up after Roe was overturned, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting and as people seeking abortions traveled from stricter nearby states.

Calls to the hotline will be returned within 48 hours, and legal advice will be offered free of charge.

“When the law changes suddenly, a hotline like this helps support our community by answering questions about critical access to health care, and we’re glad to help,” said Anna Sortun, a partner at Tonkon Torp in Portland, Oregon, the law firm leading the hotline effort.

Tags abortion acces dobbs Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Ellen Rosenblum helpline hotline Oregon reproductive health roe Roe v. Wade Supreme Court

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