Local reaction to President Biden’s executive order signing

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Soon after President Biden signed his Executive Order, News10NBC talked to the President of Planned Parenthood for Western and Central New York about what this means for women.

Biden’s message was loud, and clear. "The only way to restore Roe is to get out, and vote because as President there’s just little to what he can do."

Biden added, "We need 2 additional pro-choice senators, and a pro-choice House to codify Roe as federal law. Your vote can make that a reality."

Planned Parenthood of Western and Central New York President, and CEO Michelle Casey, says the President’s Executive Order is a goodwill gesture on his part.

"I’m not really sure how much it’s going to accomplish. You know there’s not a lot that as I understand it that he can accomplish by Executive Order in this space. I think it’s a lot more linked to legislation either federally, or in the states," said Casey.

Mr. Biden’s Executive Order does call for some protection for women, especially their privacy when seeking information on abortion.

"That’s actually one place where they can make progress to put some pressure on some of the social media, and tech companies like Google to you know make searches private, or make sure people know how to do that," said Casey.

We asked, how does today’s signing of the Executive Order help organizations like Planned Parenthood?

"Right now they’re looking at ways to ensure the safety of patients and providers, and 3rd parties. That would be great if there’s actually something they can legitimately do," said Casey.

Anti-abortion activists like Michele Sterlace, Executive Director of Feminist Choosing Life of New York say women need resources. She says the Executive Order, State Legislature, and Governor Kathy Hochul continue to miss the mark.

"Women deserve better than the violence of abortion. We need to work together pro-life, and pro-choice drawing alongside especially poor women facing unplanned pregnancy to make sure they have resources to practically choose to bring pregnancies to term should they choose to do so," said Sterlace.

She says she’s not interested in penalizing, or criminalizing the behaviors of women in any way. She’s more interested in the resources that women need.

Here in New York women can get an abortion for any reason up to, and, including 24 weeks of pregnancy. After 24 weeks, you can still get an abortion if your health or pregnancy is at risk.

"We know based on studies that most women who undergo the violence of abortion are faced with economic constraints. They choose abortion for economic reasons," said Sterlace.

She says what women need are more resources, such as affordable child care.

"That’s necessary so that I can choose, as a poor woman, to bring my child to term, and finish my career. Finish college, become a partner at a law firm. We need affordable child care," said Sterlace.

She goes on to say that her organization has reached out, and works with abortion-rights activists. They have meaningful discussions on non-violent solutions to the problems that women face.