NASW applauds U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down restrictive Texas abortion clinic laws


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) applauds the Supreme Court’s decision on June 27 to strike down Texas’ stringent laws concerning abortion clinics.

The importance of the Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt should not be understated. The high court’s action conforms with and affirms prior decisions that guarantee women’s rights to control their reproductive choices.

Legal scholars also said the Supreme Court ruling sends a strong message to other states that have restrictive abortion laws similar to the ones Texas attempted to impose. The ruling will prevent efforts by some legislators to use medically unnecessary regulations to undermine a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.

NASW has long advocated for a woman’s right of choice when it comes to reproductive health matters. The association remains at the forefront in the ongoing battle to ensure that such rights are supported by our federal judiciary all the way up to the Supreme Court.

NASW does not assume the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision will end the legal challenges to and passage of “sham” laws restricting access to safe and medically qualified abortion clinics. However, the ruling does give us hope women will get fair treatment in the courts.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at


  1. And that should be up to each individual woman to make that decision for herself!

    • The question that is bypassed/ignored by NASW is when does human life begin? The issue of human life matters is too important to be left to an arbitrary matter of opinion. NASW might at least respect those many social workers who champion the rights of the unborn child as it advocates for a woman’s right to “self determination”.

    • I am deeply concerned about NASW supporting woman’s rights to choose to “evacuate” unborn fetus’s from the womb because it is not their birthday but their death day. So where does human life begin? For many Christians, it begins when the egg is fertilized and for some, when the cells start to multiply and grow. So can’t women simply not have sex if they are not ready for a child or use birth control? Social Workers fight for “the least of these”. Fetuses are the “least of these”. An economic teacher of mine in the eighth grade told me that one’s rights begin where the other’s begin. So, as a social worker I will continue to be neutral as part of my job in helping explore more options but due to conviction should I not work to advocate for the rights of the unborn?

  2. Excerpt from Nina Totenburg reporting on this:
    As to the surgical centers, the court said that the law’s requirements were, quote, “nearly arbitrary.” For instance, the law requires even those patients seeking a medical abortion to take a pill at a surgical center even though any possible complications typically happen long after the patient has left the facility.

    More to the point, the court noted that surgical abortions are among the safest procedures in the country. Childbirth which Texas allows to take place at home is 14 times more likely to result in death than an abortion, and a colonoscopy which can take place in a doctor’s office has 10 times the mortality rate. Indeed the court observed that the procedure for dealing with a miscarriage is the same as an abortion, but the miscarriage procedure can be done in a doctor’s office.

    • 100% of abortions result in death (the babies that are aborted).

    • I am a BSW student in my internship. I am pro life. It disturbs me to find that NASW is pro death. I understand that sometimes an unplanned pregnancy can be stressful, but killing the baby is not a good choice. Aren’t social workers supposed to help the client to explore other options?

    • Christine:

      Thanks for your comment. As our statement reads NASW supports a woman’s right to reproductive choices.

      Greg Wright
      NASW Public Relations Manager

    • Christine,

      The Code of Ethics allows us to help the client to make her own decisions, based on their own beliefs. As such, yes, we should help the clients explore all options. Although you and I are pro-life, we should be consistently neutral (and not try to influence) regarding each option.

      Please do not give up your personal beliefs…there ARE fellow Social Workers who are in your corner!

  3. I’m sad to see that NASW and the “pro-choice” community don’t want abortion clinics to maintain the same safety standards as other regulated health care businesses, such as ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals. Even though the abortion physicians murder unborn children, the mothers’ safety and well-being are at stake during these procedures (as with any medical procedure). This cry for patient safety was generated by a Pennsylvania abortion clinic that operated unsafely, causing deaths for numerous women who had abortions there. This was not a “sham” bill intended to restrict access to abortion clinics.

    The term “reproductive health matter” also cries for equitable care in all health settings. Yes, there will continue to be laws passed to protect the health of all in the USA.

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