AG Campbell, Abortion Advocates, and Law Firms Launch ‘Abortion Legal Hotline’ Amidst Unprecedented Legal Questions Following Dobbs Decision
The fall of Roe v. Wade has raised new and unprecedented legal questions concerning the provision of abortion care throughout the country. Today, the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation, in partnership with Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, the Women’s Bar Foundation, the ACLU of Massachusetts, and five law firms, launched the Abortion Legal Hotline, a free and confidential resource to connect Massachusetts-based health care providers, helpers, and patients obtaining care in Massachusetts with free legal advice and resources about their rights to access and provide lawful abortions.
The Hotline’s launch comes as anti-abortion actors in states across the country look to restrict access to care across state lines. When a provider or patient calls the Hotline with a legal question, coordinators from the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation and the Women’s Bar Foundation will help connect them with specially trained attorneys from the ACLU of Massachusetts; Foley Hoag LLP; Goodwin Procter; Goulston & Storrs PC; Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC; or Ropes & Gray LLP for pro bono legal advice. The Attorney General’s Office convened this group of stakeholders to collaborate on and facilitate the Hotline, which is part of AG Campbell’s commitment to prioritizing reproductive justice and the ongoing work of the AG’s Office to protect residents and providers in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
You can find more information about the Abortion Legal Hotline HERE.
“From codifying protections for providers and patients into state law to creating a free and confidential hotline for residents, Massachusetts continues to lead on reproductive justice,” said Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. “We know that access to a full spectrum of reproductive care, including abortion, has never been more vital. My office is proud to convene these advocacy groups, law firms and legal advocates to support providers and patients in administering and accessing essential health care.”
“Abortion remains legal in Massachusetts and no anti-abortion extremist should be able to reach across our borders and challenge that,” said Rebecca Hart Holder, President of the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation. “We are proud that the Massachusetts Legislature acted boldly to pass best-in-the-nation protections for abortion providers and patients last legislative session. Now, we are excited to build off their work and launch the Abortion Legal Hotline to ensure those offering or accessing abortion care in Massachusetts fully understand the scope of this new law and how care is protected in our Commonwealth. Massachusetts abortion providers offer life-saving, lawful, and loving care each and every day, and must be able to do so without fear of hostile or harmful litigation.”
“For 30 years, the Women’s Bar Foundation (WBF) has provided free legal assistance to individuals facing critical legal issues, particularly to survivors of domestic abuse,” said Women’s Bar Foundation Executive Director Margaret Talmers. “For survivors, access to reproductive health care is essential to their safety. Forcing someone to stay pregnant or preventing them from having an abortion can keep them trapped in an abusive relationship. This is just one of the many reasons the WBF is proud to be part of the Abortion Legal Hotline, connecting health care providers, helpers and patients who have pressing legal questions to excellent pro bono attorneys.”
“Everybody should be able to get the reproductive health care they need without fear of arrest or criminalization,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “After the fall of Roe, Massachusetts passed best-in-the-nation protections for abortion providers and patients. Now, the ACLU stands ready to ensure that Massachusetts abortion providers, patients, and helpers have access to high-quality legal advice and resources to realize our state’s protections.”
“We are proud to be part of the Massachusetts Abortion Legal Hotline,” said Foley Hoag Pro Bono Counsel Rebecca Cazabon. "Foley Hoag has a long history of doing pro bono work protecting reproductive rights and promoting access to abortion care and our attorneys look forward to continuing to provide free legal advice to Massachusetts-based health care providers, helpers, and patients obtaining care in the state."
“At a time when long-standing and fundamental rights of women and girls have been revoked and are under increasing curtailment and threat throughout the country, we are grateful to Reproductive Equity Now for their vision and leadership in fighting for equitable access to reproductive health care, including in the creation of this hotline,” said Karen O’Malley, Co-Chair of Goulston & Storrs’ Pro Bono Committee. “This hotline will provide a critical communication channel for healthcare providers, patients, and helpers who have questions about providing and accessing legal and safe abortion care. Goulston & Storrs has long been a pro bono partner with REN and other organizations to support equality and liberty for women and girls, and we look forward to providing pro bono service through this hotline initiative.”
"Everyone should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and lives based on their beliefs and values, free from discrimination, violence, and duress," said Susan Finegan, Chair of Mintz's Pro Bono Committee. “With that in mind, Mintz is proud to partner with Reproductive Equity Now, the Women’s Bar Foundation, the ACLU, and other firms to establish the Abortion Legal Hotline, designed to respond to important [or time sensitive] inquiries from patients, advocates, and healthcare providers as they navigate the complex changing laws and their potential legal exposure in Massachusetts."
“Massachusetts is a leader in protecting the right to abortion services in the US, and Goodwin is proud to be a part of this effort to help ensure that providers, patients and others within Massachusetts and across the country have a resource they can utilize to understand their rights and the law with regard to accessing and providing safe and legal abortion services in Massachusetts,” said Caroline Bullerjahn, Partner in Goodwin’s Complex Litigation & Disputes practice and Co-Chair of the Dobbs Task Force.
In July, Massachusetts passed An Act Expanding Protections for Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Care, which included best-in-the-nation protections for abortion and gender-affirming care providers who offer lawful care in Massachusetts. The law took steps to protect providers’ professional licenses and malpractice insurance, while also prohibiting extradition for the provision of lawful care in Massachusetts and ensuring Massachusetts courts do not become a venue for hostile-state claims.
Any attorney qualified to practice law in Massachusetts who is interested in providing pro bono legal services should contact the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation at [email protected].