LANSING, Mich, (WLNS) – Activists on both sides of the abortion debate are reacting to Friday’s executive order aiming to expand federal protections for reproductive health care issues.
While some abortion access supporters are finding relief, opponents are calling it overreach.
“We need to respect the third branch of government. The Supreme Court ruled and I think it sets a dangerous precedence for the executive branch to dismiss what the judicial branch has done,” said Genevieve Marnon, the legislative director of Right to Life Michigan.
She called the president’s executive order another example of overreach.
The order calls for the Health and Human Services Department to protect access to abortion medication and emergency care. The move also looks to protect patient information by letting doctors and insurers know when it’s required to share that information with the police. Data protection would cover the privacy of seeking care online too.
It also calls on the HHS to expand access to contraceptives, which Marnon doesn’t feel was necessary.
“I don’t see that birth control is being threatened in any, way shape, or form. And I think this was just a way to scare people by saying they are coming after your birth control,” said Marnon.
But activists fighting for abortion access said the issues go hand in hand, like Virginia He, who helped organize student protests around the state capitol.
“This is a decision but also sets a precedence for future cases. So with the decision, we don’t know what the supreme court could do in the future,” said He.
As the debate moves to states with varying abortion laws, she called the order a sign of hope that gives people a chance to access reproductive health care.
“It gives sort of a pathway for that to happen but you know, given that this executive order in no means over turns the supreme court decision, it in no way restores a nationwide right to abortion,” she said.
The executive order also aims to gather lawyers to help provide representation for those seeking to access care away from their home states.