Reproductive Justice and the Social Work Profession: Common Grounds and Current Trends

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21 Scopus citations


Reproductive rights and justice frameworks, which take an intersectional and social justice approach to reproductive health, are compatible with social work’s philosophical and theoretical foundations and its practical goals of advocating and promoting social justice. However, reproductive rights and justice are not frequently addressed in social work publications, an important gap that should be addressed. The search term “reproductive justice” was used to identify 10 articles published between 1994 and 2018 among the top 50 social work journals (using SCImago Journal and Country rankings). Only 3 of these 10 articles focused substantively on reproductive justice. By comparison, 55 article were identified with the search term “reproductive rights.” An analysis of the reproductive justice articles was conducted for purpose and topic, location, study population, year, journal, key findings, and implications for the social work profession. All articles called for an increase in research on reproductive justice topics. Encouragingly, these articles also included an analysis of the role of the social work profession with these frameworks. However, there is a lack of articles on reproductive justice, and the range of topics, and the methodological approaches, covered are limited. Although the increase in reproductive rights literature is heartening, there is a need for reproductive justice framings in social work practice and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
JournalAffilia - Journal of Women and Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • reproductive justice
  • reproductive rights
  • social justice
  • social work literature
  • social work practice


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