Oregon launches free legal help line for people seeking abortions

By OPB staff (OPB)
Jan. 23, 2023 5 p.m.

A variety of Oregon law firms will provide legal advice pro bono to people who need access to reproductive health care.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum waits for the start of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's inaugural address at the state Capitol in Salem, Ore., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum at the state Capitol in Salem, Ore., in 2019.

Bradley W. Parks / OPB

The Oregon Department of Justice and various law firms in the state announced a hotline Monday that will provide advice for people seeking access to abortions.

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Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which was overturned last year by the same court in a decision known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Since the Dobbs decision, Oregon has been one of many states attempting to shore up abortion access while other states, such as neighboring Idaho, attempt to restrict it.

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The Oregon Reproductive Rights Hotline, reachable at (503) 431-6460, will offer guidance for people who need medical treatment and may not be familiar with Oregon’s laws. In cases where a person needs legal advice, attorneys staffing the line will provide recommendations for free.

People who call the hotline should receive a call back within two days.

“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,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said in a statement. “This is especially important because we share a border with Idaho, which has a near-total abortion ban.”

Tonkon Torp is the lead law firm handling calls to the hotline, but assistance will also come from Markowitz Herbold, Perkins Coie, Stoel Rives, McDowell Rackner Gibson, and Pickett Dummigan McCall.

“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.

Last year, data showed that people seeking abortions in Oregon increased significantly after Idaho enacted a near-total ban on abortions. Earlier this month, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld that law after it was challenged.

This article may be updated.

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