Sen. Cory Booker brings fertility care advocate Roshni Kamta as guest to State of the Union


U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced March 5, 2024, that his guest to the State of the Union address this week is Roshni Kamta, a Jersey City native whose breast cancer diagnosis at 22 years old led her to freeze her eggs and inspired her advocacy for wider access to fertility treatments on behalf of breast cancer patients and women of color in healthcare.

Roshni Kamta. PHOTO: Linkedin @roshni-kamta

After Kamta received the news that she had stage 2 breast cancer, her oncologist informed her that the chemotherapy she needed to treat her cancer could prevent her from having children in the future. Advised to freeze her eggs promptly before starting cancer treatment, Kamta found herself grappling with the decision of whether to pursue a costly fertility procedure her insurance was not willing to cover.

Kamta applied for and received a grant from The Chick Mission, a non-profit working to ensure that every young women with a cancer diagnosis has the option to preserve their fertility by providing direct financial support, educational programs, and by advocating for state policies that require fertility treatment coverage for cancer patients.

“Roshni’s journey as a young woman navigating the daunting intersection of a cancer diagnosis with fertility challenges speaks to her unwavering resilience,”  Senator Booker is quoted saying in the press release. “As we witness alarming attacks on IVF and other assisted reproductive technology, particularly in the aftermath of the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, it’s crucial that we listen to people like Roshni. Recognizing that everyone’s path to parenthood is unique and their decision to pursue IVF deeply personal, we must protect and ensure equitable access to fertility treatments. Roshni’s story is a testament to the importance of removing barriers to IVF and advancing healthcare policies that prioritize dignity and choice for all.”

“When diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to advocate for the best care—not only for the medical treatment that would save my life, but also a chance to have a family of my own,” Kamta said. “I applaud Senator Booker’s efforts to make fertility treatment accessible, despite the many barriers patients must face.  I am forever grateful for The Chick Mission’s financial support—they made sure I could decide to have children in the future, not cancer.”

A Rutgers University graduate, Kamta lives in Jersey City and works in marketing at Inc. Magazine. Now 27, she shares her story as a cancer survivor, and advocates for other women going through their cancer journeys, especially women of color who experience cultural disparities in breast cancer treatment, the press release said.

Booker’s decision comes in the wake of Alabama’s State Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos created during the IVF process are “children” under state law. Booker cosponsored the Access to Family Building Act, legislation which would establish a statutory right to access IVF for all Americans who need it to start or grow a family. Booker also co-authored the bicameral Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act, legislation first introduced in 2018 that would require more health insurers to provide coverage for infertility treatment, as well as fertility preservation services for individuals who undergo medically necessary procedures that may cause infertility, such as chemotherapy.

(Headline Updated March 8, 2024)



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