In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision that gave individual states the power to regulate abortion, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings on Monday announced a hotline Delawareans and out-of-staters can call to answer questions about abortion access in the First State.
Those with questions about abortion access can call (302) 992-8096 or toll-free at (877) 312-2366. A representative from the ACLU of Delaware will direct the caller to a free, confidential legal expert who will provide guidance on the law in Delaware.
In order to ensure anonymity, callers will be asked to leave a message with their questions, a callback number, and any instructions on when or how they prefer to be contacted. Those who prefer not to call may also submit written questions online at de.gov/abortionhelpline.
Legal questions will be answered on a pro bono basis by attorneys in partner law firms, while service and support referrals will be referred to partner nonprofits including Planned Parenthood of Delaware and the First State Abortion Fund.
Jennings emphasized that abortion remains legal in Delaware despite the Dobbs decision. Delaware will not extradite women to other states where abortions are unlawful, she said.
“Abortion is legal in Delaware, but millions of women in our sister states face legal and medical peril because of their states’ draconian abortion laws,” Jennings said. “Our abortion legal helpline is 100% free, completely confidential, and ready to help anyone — be they residents of our state, visitors, or providers.”
Operators will refer callers seeking abortions to providers where they are offered. They will also offer guidance to patients seeking to travel to Delaware for an abortion.
“It was a little over a month ago when the U.S. Supreme Court undermined 50 years of Supreme Court precedent and stripped away a constitutional right from millions of Americans,” said Mike Brickner, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware. “In the wake of that disastrous and dangerous opinion, many people across Delaware asked, ‘What can we do? How can we take action?’ and today, I think, is a very real step forward and a way that the legal community has taken action.”
Wilmington Councilwoman Shané Darby, D-District 2, said she hopes the Delaware General Assembly’s next legislative session will yield more legislation to protect abortion access.
Darby, who spoke on behalf of Black Mothers in Power, is running against Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha, D-Wilmington in the Sept. 13 primary election.
Delaware needs legislation “to protect people from outside of Delaware who come here for abortion and to look at funding for Planned Parenthood and look at ways to increase the number of clinics in the state of Delaware so people have these opportunities and be able to have their rights,” Darby said.
Abortion has been protected in Delaware since 2017.
The bill protecting abortion, sponsored by Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Glasgow, permits the termination of a pregnancy prior to viability, to protect the life or health of the mother, or in the event of serious fetal anomaly.
Jennings said the hotline is up and running as of Wednesday. She plans to get the word out through media coverage and by announcing the hotline at public events, but she hasn’t yet arranged for a marketing campaign to spread the word.
“Hopefully there will be,” she said. “We’re going to look to sources of funding for that.”
More information on abortions in Delaware
More information on the AG’s Abortion Legal Helpline, Delawareans’ reproductive rights, and abortion resources can be found at de.gov/abortionhelpline.
Delawareans seeking financial support for reproductive care may contact the First State Abortion Fund at (302) 491-9429 or visit firststateabortionfund.org.
Information on obtaining abortion medication is available at plancpills.org.
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