A new national non-profit has launched a hotline for victims of domestic violence to report those suspected of getting an unlawful termination of pregnancy (DAD) from a clinic across the country, a substance use disorder resulting from the illegal termination and other partner abuse as well as financial exploitation.
The new anti-DAD hotline will connect women who have been abused or coerced with law enforcement and other programs and agencies, a press release said.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Wellwoman, the reproductive justice organization founded by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, announced the creation of the hotline on Thursday. The Americans United for Life Action (AUALA) has backed the initiative.
“Abortion has become a sure method of cheating women out of their reproductive rights, and it has become increasingly easy for someone to purchase an abortion,” Jeanne Monahan, executive director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area, said in a statement Thursday. “Abortion is not contraception, but a procedure that can have dangerous long-term consequences for a woman, and that is why we need to do more to protect women’s choices by reducing the financial incentives for sex traffickers and abusers to prey on vulnerable women.”
Monahan added that the hotline would also ensure that abortion providers are held accountable. “Abortion providers are increasingly using unethical tactics and moving their clinic away from areas where it is less likely that abusers will be present and more likely that neighbors will report,” she said.
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The hotline will be available 24 hours a day and will be run by trained advocates. People are urged to call the DAD hotline at 877-253-2479.
News of the hotline comes at a time when enforcement of DAD laws has become more problematic in several states. In the past year, the federal government has said it’s “no longer willing to fight back in defense of states who attempt to limit access to abortion” following a threat by anti-abortion advocacy groups.
The state of Florida recently passed a controversial law that makes it a felony for anyone without a court order from a judge to obtain a DAD from a clinic in the state. Other states have passed similar laws. The commission overseeing the health insurance exchanges at the federal level recently voted not to negotiate for a denial of coverage for an abortion caused by a DAD.
Other states and localities have passed such laws or taken measures aimed at reducing the number of DADs.
“By enforcing existing laws, and by prosecuting others who continue to break the law, we are sending a strong message: No woman should be in fear of her own physicians,” said March for Life President Jeanne Mancini in a statement.
The measure to establish the hotline was announced at a national Marches for Life event in Washington, D.C. Thursday.