Nation's largest social work organization condemns Alabama abortion law

Nation's largest social work organization condemns Alabama abortion law
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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which bills itself as the world's largest association for professional social workers, spoke out Thursday in opposition to a new Alabama law that outlaws abortion in nearly all cases.

The NASW issued a statement calling the law “an affront to a woman’s constitutional right over her own reproductive health” and lambasted the state Senate for voting down amendments to the legislation that would have expanded Medicaid or guaranteed pre- or post-natal care.

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The association argued that the law will also worsen racial disparities, noting that low-income black and Hispanic women are more likely to lack the resources to go out-of-state for abortions.

“Alabama’s anti-abortion law is the most punitive of a growing number of similarly draconian laws that have been passed (or introduced) in several states, including Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia,” the NASW statement reads.

“The ulterior motive driving these efforts is to provide a ‘test case’ that will be accepted for consideration by the Supreme Court, in the hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade. It is now up to the federal courts to affirm that Roe v. Wade is settled law. NASW implores them to overturn this new wave of unacceptable abortion laws.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) defended the measure earlier this week. "The Legislature has spoken," she told The Associated Press days after signing the measure. "It underscores the sanctity of life the people of Alabama value so highly." 

The state law allows exceptions only for the life of the mother, one of several state abortion restrictions passed in recent months, including “heartbeat” legislation in Ohio and Georgia that would ban the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks into pregnancy.