Planned Parenthood Wisconsin reacts to Biden’s order trying to protect abortion access, data privacy
MADISON, Wis. — President Joe Biden put pen to paper Friday, signing an executive order to try and protect some reproductive access for women. But he noted that it only goes so far, and the head of Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin said it’s not far enough, adding what women really need is their reproductive rights back.
The president called on the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services to “do everything in their power to protect these women seeking to invoke their rights.”
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin CEO Tanya Atkinson was encouraged — but knows those rights largely are still gone within our state.
“Unfortunately, the executive order does not restore access to abortion in the state of Wisconsin,” she said.
Biden is also advocating for legal assistance for women and providers who may need to terminate a pregnancy to save a life, “and that doctors have clear guidance on their own responsibilities and protections no matter what state they’re in,” he said.
Under Wisconsin’s 1849 law, that would still be legal.
Another element Biden hopes to save from attack is data privacy. The president is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to set up a task force to protect online searches, period-tracking apps, and more sources of women’s information.
Experts and abortion advocates fear that information could be shared with law enforcement or vigilantes.
“It underscores that it’s essential that people be able to make these personal private decisions themselves and access the information that they need without the fear of other people stepping in and making the decisions for them,” Atkinson said.
Those decisions are now largely out of people’s hands, including the president’s.
“We need two additional pro-choice senators and a pro-choice house to codify Roe as federal law — your vote can make that a reality,” he said.
Still, Atkinson said she knows this executive order is all he currently can do.
“We definitely believe that with President Biden signing the executive order, it continues to highlight the urgency of the matter,” she said.
In a statement, Gracie Skogman, Wisconsin Right to Life’s legislative/PAC director, said the executive order will have “disastrous impacts for women and preborn children across the nation.”
“Women in Wisconsin and nationwide deserve better than the empty promises of abortion providers,” she said. “Women deserve comprehensive support for themselves and their preborn children. The message of the pro-life movement is one of empowerment, respect, and care for both women and preborn children.”
The statement continued, calling on Biden “to ensure that women facing challenging or unexpected pregnancies are provided with the life affirming support they need, and support the efforts of Pregnancy Resource Centers instead of abortion providers.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Tony Evers rejected calls from Republicans to allocate $10 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to crisis pregnancy centers.
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