NASW is Co-Sponsoring Partner of the March for Women's Lives

April 25, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington , DC

WASHINGTON At 10 am, Sunday, April 25, 2004 , at the Lincoln Memorial social workers from around the country will be joining the March for Women's Lives and will rally for women's rights to reproductive freedom on the National Mall from 1 pm to 4 pm .

The government is sending a clear message to women by not funding abortions for poor women and decreasing availability of family planning and reproductive health services for others, including men, says Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, executive director of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Oftentimes, family planning clinics are the primary source of medical care for both women and men. These clinics are also the place where medical and psychosocial problems, such as domestic violence, that are unrelated to family planning, are first identified and addressed, she adds.

The social work profession bases its position on family planning and reproductive health services on self-determination.

Every woman and every man should have the choice of which reproductive health services, family planning, or abortion services they want or need without stress and harassment from others within their own personal beliefs, says Clark.

NASW opposes government restrictions on access to these reproductive health services, including abortion, or in financing them in health insurance and foreign aid programs. NASW also opposes any legislative and funding restrictions on medically approved forms of birth control, including emergency contraception. NASW does, however, support legislative measures to protect clients and providers seeking and delivering reproductive health services from harassment and violence.

For more information about the March for Women's Lives, please contact Dina Zarella at or sign up to join NASW at the march by visiting

NASW's position statement on Family Planning and Reproductive Health can be found in Social Work Speaks, Sixth Edition, NASW Press 2003. Media can contact Lahne Mattas-Curry at for a copy of the position.

More information about the March for Women's Lives can be found at

The National Association of Social Workers
(NASW), in Washington , DC , is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 153,000 members. It promotes, develops and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well being of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.
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