At Escape, we are committed to advocating for the adolescent and young adult (AYA) LGBTQIA+ cancer community in their right to safe, equitable healthcare, and this includes access to abortion care. The Supreme Court of the United States decision on Friday, June 24th to overturn the right to safe abortion access is one that will have a devastating impact on the AYA LGBTQIA+ cancer community. We completely renounce the decision made by the Supreme Court majority to no longer protect the right to safe and affordable reproductive healthcare.
While we highlight the intersection between being LGBTQIA+, 13-39 years old, and having cancer, the other intersections that our community holds are equally important and our community members who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), disabled, survivors of sexual violence, and of lower socioeconomic status will all be disproportionately impacted by this ruling.
For 1 of every 1,000 pregnancies, a cancer diagnosis occurs. Because of this, many AYAs are faced with having to choose between life saving cancer care and terminating a pregnancy.
The LGBTQIA+ community and AYA cancer patients alike also rely on fertility preservation and family planning through IVF and the overturn of Roe v. Wade could make this process illegal in at least 13 states with “trigger laws” that define life as beginning at “the moment of fertilization.”
For some transgender men and non-binary people in our community, pregnancy can be devastating and cause or contribute to gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia.
This overturn will make it extremely difficult for individuals to receive medically necessary care for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and reproductive related cancers.
The 14th amendment’s “substantive due process” principle is the foundation for some of our most fundamental rights becoming legal precedence. This includes but is not limited to the right to privacy (Griswold v. Connecticut), the right to interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia), the right to an abortion (Roe v. Wade), the right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges), the right of unmarried people to use contraception (Eisenstadt v. Baird), and the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner of their choosing (Meyer v. Nebraska).
In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the court should revisit cases involving the right for same-sex intimacy and marriage and the right to use contraception, asserting that the substantive due process doctrine should be eliminated. While we do not know how Friday’s decision will impact the previous decisions made on the above cases regarding substantive due process, we want to make sure our community is prepared for any potential changes to these rights.
Our team will be compiling resources for safe and legal abortion care, LGBTQIA+/gender affirming resources for family planning, LGBTQIA+ resources for estate planning, and we are a safe space to come with concerns regarding access. If you need more specific support than what will be available on our resource guide, please reach out to us and we can provide additional assistance. You are not alone, you are seen, and you are loved.
Hailey Johnston and Escape Board of Directors
Bior, A. (2022, May 5). How the reversal of Roe v. Wade could impact the transgender community. NPR. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.npr.org/2022/05/05/1096365879/roe-wade-abortion-transgender-scotus-marriage-contraceptives-privacy-rights
Hepner, A., Negrini, D., Hase, E. A., Exman, P., Testa, L., Trinconi, A. F., Filassi, J. R., Francisco, R., Zugaib, M., O'Connor, T. L., & Martin, M. G. (2019). Cancer During Pregnancy: The Oncologist Overview. World journal of oncology, 10(1), 28–34. https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1177
Supreme Court of the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf