Los Angeles — Today, one year to the date following the leak of a draft SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto joined California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the Southern California Legal Alliance for Reproductive Justice (SoCal LARJ) to highlight the organization’s legal aid efforts and help announce the launch of their new hotline The alliance is made up of law firms across Southern California offering pro bono services for those in need of legal help related to abortion, plus government agencies, advocates and service providers.
“As reproductive rights are rolled back in more than a dozen states, SoCal LARJ is dedicated to ensuring that California remains a safe haven for bodily autonomy and choice,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto. “As the first woman in my role, I am committed to and focused on this cause. The new legal hotline launching today could very well be a lifeline.”
“Today marks a dark anniversary for all of us. One year ago, we first learned that a radical Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was looming — a decision that would come to undermine the rights and endanger the health of millions of people,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “In the wake of this decision, as reproductive freedoms have faced unprecedented attacks nationwide, California has remained a beacon of hope and safety. We have fought back through our legislature, through the courts, and through information, partnership, and advocacy. This initiative is another important resource that brings together legal, advocacy, and government partners united in the fight for reproductive justice. To those in need of abortion-related legal help: You are not alone. California’s legal community is here to support you.”
“The magnitude of the fallout from Dobbs is becoming disturbingly clearer by the day, but this powerful legal community is standing together,” said Lara Stemple, Director of SoCal LARJ. “Unforgiving abortion bans and the devastating health consequences that follow are galvanizing advocates, providers, and law firms. Some firms have been involved in these issues for years, but many others are new to the fight.”
“Wow, it’s been one year since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Although we continue our fight for reproductive justice, California’s abortion access is stronger and has given many of us hope,” said Gabrielle Brown, Program Coordinator at Black Women for Wellness. “Access to the full spectrum of reproductive and sexual health care, including abortion is critical to our community as Black birthing people. Not only should we be able to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy, but we should also have access to the care and resources that support us in doing so. SoCal LARJ's legal hotline will be a crucial resource for Black women in Southern California, providing help and making connections for anyone with legal questions related to reproductive health care.”
"One year after the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson SCOTUS decision, abortion access is stronger in California as we have continued the important work to be an access state for those seeking abortion care, " said Jessica Pinckney Gil, Executive Director at Access Reproductive Justice, California's only independent, statewide abortion fund. "Barriers to accessing abortion care in California and beyond still exist, but with the support of coalitions like SoCal LARJ, we take important steps towards getting all individuals, providers, and advocates working to increase access to abortion the tools they need to whittle away at those very barriers and make Reproductive Justice a reality for all."
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, anti-abortion states have passed an array of laws that criminalize abortion and threaten the safety and legal freedom of those seeking or providing reproductive care. The threat of jail times, fines, or protracted legal battles have already caused providers to deny critical care and forced patients to turn to unsafe measures
SoCal LARJ was created to fight this climate of fear and uncertainty by making legal help and guidance related to abortions and reproductive care available for all those who need it. The alliance also aims to provide a wide range of legal services to support reproductive care providers and advocates, including:
- Compliance advice concerning shifting abortion restrictions, including the treatment of pregnancy-related conditions;
- Support for amicus briefs to advance reproductive rights and justice;
- Representation for anyone facing civil or criminal penalties for seeking, providing, or assisting in reproductive care;
- Advice on protecting sensitive health-related data;
- Referrals to local and national law firms, several of whom have licensed attorneys in a range of states; and
- Legal support for corporate, tax, employment, or other matters so providers and advocates can focus on their mission.
The new SoCal LARJ legal hotline number, 310-206-4466, will be monitored daily and is staffed by lawyers ready to assist. Visit the SoCal LARJ website for more information about the coalition.