Originally published as "What Moving From Kentucky to Virginia After I Was Diagnosed With Cancer Reveals About Roe," Think, July 7, 2022.
After years of teaching Roe v. Wade as a family law professor, I experienced the stunningly painful irony of reading the leaked Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on the day I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Overnight, at age 44, I became a person who would need an abortion if pregnant because cancer treatments would compromise a healthy birth and delay needed cancer care. I also became someone, like other hormone-positive breast cancer patients, who was advised to discontinue hormonal contraception because it might stimulate the growth of cancer cells.
In the aftermath of Roe’s being overturned, supporters of the move want to pretend that abortion access can be surgically extracted from women’s health care decision-making as a whole. Nothing could be further from the truth.