New Abortion Hotline In Massachusetts, State Attorney General Announces

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The Massachusetts attorney general’s office has announced a new abortion hotline to offer free legal advice to women seeking abortions, whether they live in the state or not.

“Today’s announcement has been in my schedule for the last few weeks, and so I’m absolutely proud of the work that this office continues to do in terms of reproductive justice,” said Andrea Campbell, the new state attorney general, during a press conference Monday, January 30.

Also attending were U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge), U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-Revere), U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park), state Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), former state attorney general Martha Coakley, and Rebecca Hart Holder (executive director of Reproductive Equity Now, formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts). A representative from the office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Malden) also attended.

Campbell noted the presence at the press conference of “representatives from five incredible Massachusetts law firms”:  Foley Hoag; Goodwin & Proctor; Goulston & Storrs; Mintz; Ropes and Gray.

The American Civil Liberties Union is also involved. More than 150 lawyers are volunteering their time for the hotline, said Carol Rose, the executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Campbell mentioned several recent violent attacks nationwide unconnected to abortion.

“Keeping the victims and survivors in mind and of course their spirit, I am really happy to be here with these incredible leaders on this stage to talk about something positive, and something joyful,” Campbell said.

Campbell took office as attorney general on January 17. She noted that the state attorney general’s office has long supported abortion.

“We have continually responded to the uncertainty surrounding the future of reproductive care. That work includes everything from addressing data privacy concerns to addressing misinformation around our crisis pregnancy centers,” Campbell said, reading from a prepared statement.

Then she paused.

“Actually, they’re not ours,” she said, to titters. “Around crisis pregnancy centers.”

Senator Warren said the work to put the abortion hotline in place began when Maura Healey, the current governor of Massachusetts, was the state’s attorney general.

Campbell has announced a forthcoming “Reproductive Justice Unit” in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.

Pressley compared opposition to abortion with police brutality against racial minorities, saying “there is a through line” because “they’re both about policing.”

“So whether you are talking about excessive force and racial profiling and brutality and murder of black and brown bodies, or whether you are talking about abortion bans, which restrict access to health care, it is the policing of the bodies of women, and all who seek abortion care. And I just want to say this:  To the one in four women who have had an abortion, the women who are in your own families, who you work with, your next-door neighbors, and indeed even who you worship with, there is no shame in having had an abortion. And to those who seek abortion care, there is no shame in seeking an abortion. The only shame is that there are unrelenting, coordinated legislative efforts and forces at work to deny you that which is your fundamental human right, and that is an access to health care,” Pressley said.


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