We want to recognize the range of emotions stemming from the Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling, a decision that will impact millions of Americans. As a healthcare organization grounded in science, our commitment is in the best interest of blood cancer patients and their families and our employees to have equitable access to healthcare.
There will be many discussions in the coming weeks and months, but what we do know is that the Supreme Court's decision eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion could impact blood cancer patients in profound ways. For example:
• Risking access to prescribed cancer treatment regimens for patients who become pregnant during treatment or who are pregnant when diagnosed with cancer will impact care and survival. Due to the toxic effects, some cancer drugs cannot be administered to pregnant people. This may leave pregnant cancer patients facing an impossible choice: Delay or forego their own cancer treatment, which may cause serious risk or fatal harm.
• Oncologists and cancer patients may be subject to civil or criminal liability if a pregnancy is lost due to chemotherapy or other treatment that might have caused harm. Decisions about medically-necessary, evidence-based care should not be grounds for patients or doctors to face legal risk.
• Healthcare providers recommend embryo preservation to cancer patients who might want to have children but whose fertility could be impacted by cancer treatment. The Dobbs ruling might result in state statutes limiting access to in vitro fertilization, potentially preventing cancer survivors from building a family.
There are several moving parts and uncertainty now that the question of abortion policy will primarily be determined by states. We know there will be challenges ahead and many unanswered questions. As LLS continues to examine the far-reaching ramifications of the Dobbs ruling, we share our commitment to supporting blood cancer patients and their families and preserving their ability to obtain the medical care they need.
We must stand together for equal treatment and rights for the blood cancer patients we support and our employees.