Delaware helpline provides free legal advice to those seeking an abortion

The Delaware Department of Justice launched a helpline for those who live in and outside the state that provides free legal advice about abortion access.

Lawyers from a dozen private Delaware law firms will answer legal questions pro bono. The helpline, which officials say is only the second of its kind in the country, is now open.

With the U.S. Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade earlier this summer, Delaware is one of the few states to have codified access to abortion as state law. Lawmakers also passed legislation that provides protections to those traveling from out of state who undergo an abortion in Delaware, as well as to the health care workers who perform them.

Despite these actions, Attorney General Kathy Jennings said the ruling has caused a “state of mass confusion.”

Attorney General Kathy Jennings speaks at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 11, in front of the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings speaks at a press conference on Monday, Oct. 11, in front of the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center.

“When I say that the Dobbs decision was destabilizing,” Jennings said, “I haven't seen any Supreme Court decision be this destabilizing so instantly, as removing a constitutional right that was in existence for nearly 50 years.

“And so yes, we are getting questions.”

When people call the number, 302-992-8096, they will be asked to leave a voicemail with their question and the best number to call back. People can ask their questions anonymously. It will be managed by the ACLU of Delaware.

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People can also send questions through the helpline's website at

Jennings said the questions will likely be focused on if abortion is legal in Delaware and the protections in place for those traveling to the state for the procedure. She also expects questions from health care workers who are “obviously worried about their own legal peril.”

Officials expect Delaware to see an increase in out-of-state travelers as more and more states limit or ban abortions. In the weeks since the Supreme Court ruling, Planned Parenthood of Delaware has been receiving many calls, said executive director Ruth Lytle-Barnaby.

“We are filling up pretty quickly and we're doing everything we can to hire more staff so we can increase access.”

Delaware had the second-highest percentage in 2019 of nonresidents receiving abortions among all East Coast states that publicly report this information, data shows. It trailed only Vermont.

Nearly 1 in 7 women who received an abortion in Delaware in 2019 lived out of state, according to federal data. A vast majority traveled here from Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, likely going to one of the three Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortions services.

Though abortion is protected in Delaware, it can be difficult for people to access it. Poor women are also at a significant disadvantage because Medicaid in Delaware covers only the cost of abortion in cases of rape, incest or life endangerment.

The AG’s Abortion Legal Helpline can be reached at (302) 992-8096 or toll-free at (877) 312-2366. Written questions can also be submitted at

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Helpline gives free legal advice for those seeking abortion in Delaware