Michelle Casey is the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.
“I’ve been here for six years and my focus has really been on access to care for the people who live in our 18-county region and then also being prepared in case a day like this came,” Casey said.
A day when Roe v. Wade could be overturned- According to a leaked Supreme Court document, that day could be soon.
Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY expanding (video)
CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western NY talks expansion
Casey says if that happens, Planned Parenthood expects patients from states like Ohio to seek care in our region.
“We’ve expanded facilities and really looked at where they’re located, trying to make sure that our local community can really have access, and for people who need to travel that it’s on accessible transportation lines.”
Earlier this week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of bills to protect abortion rights for providers and patients in New York State.
Hochul says she is directing $25 million to expand abortion provider capacity and ensure access for patients seeking abortions, and $10 million for security grants to help ensure the safety of providers and patients.
Governor Hochul signs six-bill abortion rights package
Pro-life advocates say state funds should be directed elsewhere
But not everybody welcomes this idea.
Michele Sterlace-Accorsi is the executive director of Feminists Choosing Life of New York.
“The initial reaction is one of sadness and shock,” Sterlace-Accorsi said. “As pro-life feminists, we’re interested in helping to meet the resource needs of women, in particular poor women. There were several pending bills in the New York State legislature that included affordable child care, extended pregnancy care coverage, in addition to extended hospital stays for poor women who give birth, and none of those bills were passed.”
With changes coming, Casey says her organization will be busy.
“I think we have a good plan but the challenges for us are recruiting staff because there’s a shortage of medical and support staff at this time across the region,” Casey said. “Knowing that this is not going to be an issue for six months to a year, this is gonna be probably a 10-25 year problem.”
The Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade is expected in June.
Gov. Hochul announces $35 million investment to support NY’s abortion providers
Rebecca is a veteran multimedia journalist serving as one of our core reporters in the Finger Lakes region. She is responsible for telling stories that matter to every day Upstate New Yorkers. Have a question or lead? Send it to [email protected].