Roe v. Wade Overturned and Privacy Concerns


Almost immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Internet exploded with tips and strategies for surviving in a post-Roe world, from where to get plan C (abortion) pills to urgent calls to delete period-tracking apps. The concern with the latter, it seems, is that the data could be lodged against users in states where abortion is illegal or severely restricted.

I have ADHD, and I’ve been using a period-tracking app for a long, long time. The ability to digitally track my period has been nothing short of life-changing. It has meant tracking – and managing – my ADHD symptoms, too.

I know, for example, that I’m going to have a particularly bad brain day about six days before my period. I also know that I’m going to be particularly impulsive around ovulation. This data, and a lot more, is vital to me and informs how I plan my days and manage all aspects of my life – no exaggeration.

[Special Report: Roe v. Wade Ruling May Disproportionately Impact Girls with ADHD]

So I simply cannot afford to delete my period-tracking app.

I know what you’re thinking: Can’t you just track all of this on paper?

I can’t. I’ve tried pen-and-paper methods countless times, and I’ve failed miserably. I’d feel awful and scold myself every time I forgot to write something down. (“It’s not that hard! It only takes two seconds,” I’d tell myself). Apps and digital tools are the only things that have made a difference.

The ability to just enter a start date for my period and let the app figure out the rest helps. Being able to wear a Bluetooth thermometer around my arm at night to track my ovulation — and not have to think about taking my temperature in the morning before my brain turns on — helps.

[Read: 5 Things Every Doctor (and Parent) Should Know about Girls and ADHD]

Some apps may promise more stringent security and privacy measures than others, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling, but it’s also not so simple to stop using one method that has worked well all this time and switch to another.

Even if these concerns are unfounded, it is endlessly frustrating that I’m on edge and can’t expect privacy in this area after the Supreme Court’s stunning reversal on abortion rights. I’m so, so sad. And heartbroken. And disappointed.

Menstruation, Hormones, and ADHD: Next Steps and Related Resources

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