New hotline offers free legal advice to people seeking abortions in Oregon
A new hotline is offering free legal advice to people seeking abortions in Oregon.
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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the launch of the Oregon Reproductive Rights Hotline last week. The Oregon Department of Justice initiative is staffed by local law firms. It was established in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Even in a state like ours, where abortion is legal, confusion and fear has ensued since the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to obtain an abortion last June,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “The hotline will fill an important need in our state for callers to understand the status of our reproductive health laws, including issues related to abortion access. This is especially important because we share a border with Idaho, which has a near-total abortion ban.”
The number of abortions in Oregon increased by 18% per month following the Dobbs decision. The Oregon Legislature is considering several bills related to abortion, including Senate Bill 776, which would require the state’s Department of Human Services to collect data on and study alternative-to-abortion organizations that “misinform and mislead women to deter or to delay them from having abortions.”
The Oregon Reproductive Rights Hotline number is 503-431-6460. The hotline’s team of lawyers will return calls within 48 hours after a call is received through the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service. Legal questions will be answered on a pro bono basis by attorneys in participating law firms.
Tonkon Torp is serving as the anchor firm for the hotline. The firm will receive assistance from Markowitz Herbold, Perkins Coie, Stoel Rives, McDowell Rackner Gibson, and Pickett Dummigan McCall.
“We’re looking forward to supporting Rosenblum’s important effort to respond constructively to the confusion and difficulties caused by the Dobbs decision,” said Anna Sortun, a partner in Tonkon Torp’s litigation department. “When the law changes suddenly, a hotline like this helps support our community by answering questions about critical access to healthcare, and we’re glad to help.”
Oregon joined Washington and California in launching the Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom in June. The initiative serves as a commitment from the states to defend access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraceptives, and protect patients and doctors against efforts by other states to export their abortion bans to those states.