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NASW-Illinois Chapter Calls for Swift Legislation Response to Protect Women/Marginalized Communities and Professionals Facing Legal Prosecution to Serve Them
Springfield, IL—The NASW-Illinois Chapter demands that Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly act swiftly to protect women, marginalized communities and licensees—including social workers—from vile attempts to strip civil liberties and silence through prosecution and fines. As other states and municipalities fast-track laws criminalizing ethical social work practice, Illinois must do more to protect those that are targeted by these attempts. As part of our demand, we also ask that Illinois streamline the licensure process for licensed professionals seeking to avoid legislative prosecution for performing social work tasks considered legal in Illinois.
As a result of the recent (and abhorrent) US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, nearly fifty years of precedent establishing abortion rights as an extension of the implied right to privacy found in the 14th Amendment were stripped away. Illinois social workers are now being asked to help provide emotional support and instructions on how to access and navigate a legal abortion in Illinois. They do so in the face of an ever-increasing threat from other states determined to prosecute and fine Illinois professionals practicing within their approved scope.
In Illinois, social workers are also providing gender-affirming resources and support to members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are facing similar legal overreach by other states wishing to enshrine hatred and bigotry through discriminatory laws.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion: "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” Illinois must meet these threats by acting aggressively to ensure these protections are enshrined for women and marginalized communities in Illinois while also protecting the Illinois professionals who serve these women and members of marginalized communities facing outside prosecution.
We look forward to working with all willing partners to secure these protections in Illinois.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with over 120,000 members. The NASW-Illinois Chapter is one of the association's largest chapters representing over 20.000 licensed Illinois social workers and school social workers, with over 5,000 active members. NASW strives to advance social work careers, grow social work businesses, and protect the profession.