SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – In response to the publication of a Supreme Court draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York is issuing a reminder that abortions are still legal in the United States.

Planned Parenthood is one of the leading providers when it comes to affordable access to pregnancy and abortion care. In fact, after New York legalized abortion in 1970, a Planned Parenthood health center in Syracuse to offer abortion services.

From the moment President & CEO, Michelle Casey, stepped into her role about 6 years ago, the focus has been giving everyone equal access to care.

“People not having access to this important type of healthcare has devastating impacts on those individuals and their families.”

MICHELLE CASEY, PRESIDENT & CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL & WESTERN NEW YORK

Casey tells NewsChannel 9 the leaked draft comes at a bad time. Planned Parenthood centers across the state are already struggling to meet the demand of the growing number of patients in need of care on a daily basis.

“I think we’re going to have to ramp up significantly with more staff because we can’t run our staff into the ground,” Casey explained. “This is going to be a long term problem. It’s not going to be taken care of in a week or a year. It’s going to be a 10 to 20 year problem unless there can be some kind of national legislation.”

Casey said overturning Roe v. Wade would be detrimental for a number of reasons, but especially with many family planning centers already overwhelmed.

We would like to see people quicker in some of our centers who have longer waiting times, and with that provider in Syracuse going down, that puts more pressure there before anybody comes from any place else.

MICHELLE CASEY, PRESIDENT & CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL & WESTERN NEW YORK

If in fact the Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade, Casey anticipates many will come to New York for pregnancy services and abortion care.

“I absolutely think there will be an influx of people from other areas,” Casey explained. “Basically, people have 3 choices. They can not get care and self manage their abortion or they can travel to some place where they can get care.”

However, she says Planned Parenthood will be prepared to care for anyone who needs it, no matter what.

We’re here. We’re open. Our doors are open for you. We’re going to do all we can to staff up to make sure people can get timely access to care, that you’re treated with dignity and respect no matter what service you come to us for, and that we honor your choices about what you want to do in your own situation because that’s the important part, right? That the person makes their best choice for themselves, not anybody else being able to do that for them.

MICHELLE CASEY, PRESIDENT & CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF CENTRAL & WESTERN NEW YORK

In addition to trying to recruit and retain more staff, Casey said Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York is working with Governor Kathy Hochul’s office and the legislative branch for additional funding and resources.

New Hope Family Services, another pregnancy resource center in Syracuse, also responded to the leaked draft.

Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization which represents New Hope, sent NewsChannel 9 the following statement:

If you’re in need of Planned Parenthood services, call 1-866-600-6886 to book your appointment. You can also learn more about New Hope Family Services by clicking here.