Rita Moreno is stunned about Dobbs: ‘Hilary Clinton warned everybody about this’

Before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973, there was already a years-long mainstream movement to legalize abortion. One of the central parts of the movement was giving women the public space to tell their stories and to normalize conversations about reproductive rights. There were congressional hearings where women testified about how they got their abortions, or what happened when a back alley abortion went wrong, or how their friend, mother, cousin, sister or neighbor died because she didn’t have abortion access. I’m bringing this up because women will need to do the exact same thing again now that Roe is dead. We’ll have to tell our stories publicly and make our voices heard and beg men and fundamentalist Christian women to see our humanity. Rita Moreno got it started – on Friday, as the Dobbs decision came out, she spoke about having an abortion before Roe:

Years before the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Marlon Brando sent Rita Moreno to have an abortion when she became pregnant while they were dating.

“Marlon found a doctor through some friends,” Moreno, 90, recalled Friday morning during a phone conversation shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. “He was a real doctor — Marlon paid him $500 — as opposed to something in a back alley.”

Even so, when the “West Side Story” Oscar winner returned home after the procedure, she began to bleed. It turned out that the doctor didn’t perform a full abortion. “Marlon took me to the hospital. I had what they told me was a ‘disturbed pregnancy,’” Moreno said. “The doctor didn’t do anything really, except make me bleed. In other words, he didn’t do it right. I didn’t know it then, but I could have died. What a mess. What a dreadful mess.”

“I can see that thing happening now and going back to back alleys,” she told me. “I’m really nervous and frightened and horrified that this is taking place. I can’t believe that some of those people are telling us what to do with our bodies.”

Moreno remembers when the Roe v. Wade decision became the law of the land: “I was jubilant.”

As “depressed” as she is by today’s ruling, Moreno also, like so many, isn’t completely surprised. “Hilary Clinton warned everybody about this,” she said. “I’m not shocked because I saw it coming but I’m stunned… I think about the young girls. Taking it to the most extreme, girls who get pregnant because of rape or incest. Unfair isn’t a strong enough word, but it’s unfair.”

After a short pause, Moreno said, “I’m sorry I’m not the most articulate today but I’m just shocked.” But that won’t stop her from moving forward. “We loud mouths are going to have to get busy,” Moreno said. “There are many of us. I’m thinking what are we going to do about this? If anything, this has reactivated us.”

[From Variety]

Yeah, “I’m not shocked because I saw it coming but I’m stunned.” We knew it would happen, they let us know it was happening, but we’re still stunned. A lot of us, myself included, needed a minute to process what it means and what’s next. Rita is right, Hillary Clinton warned everybody. Hillary knew how important the 2016 election was and what it would mean for women’s rights. Tens of millions of voters decided that they didn’t care. As for Moreno’s story about Marlon Brando and the botched abortion… she’s absolutely right, that will happen again.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red and Starstock/Photoshot via Avalon Red.

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30 Responses to “Rita Moreno is stunned about Dobbs: ‘Hilary Clinton warned everybody about this’”

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  1. Andrew's_Nemesis says:

    There ar a lot of women who will commit suicide as a result of their unwanted pregnancies as well, particularly those who have been raped and coerced against their will.
    This is all part and parcel of the backlash against feminism. We’ve seen it with Amber Heard, Meghan, Megan Thee Stallion, Angelina, the upcoming court case against Marilyn Manson… Women exist, in some people’s minds, to be hated, suppressed and abused. They deserve the ‘fact’ that God placed men above them and that they should suffer pain in childbirth, as per thr Book of Genesis (Bereshit). Any hint of equality has felt like abuse for powerful white men. The only way we could win against them is if we turned our vaginas into guns.
    I really do wonder if the US is going to disintegrate into civil war. Contraception, IVF, gay marriage and racial equality is next. These people have no depths to which they will not stoop.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      And abusive men will murder their pregnant partners who can’t get abortions.

      • Ihatepeople says:

        Murder by intimate (male) partner is already the number 1 way to die when you are pregnant. Absolutely more pregnant women will get murdered by their male partners. Thank you for pointing that out. You are so right.

    • DeniseMich says:

      The US constitution was not written to give freedoms to women or blacks/browns.

      The fact that Clarence Thomas is a constitutionalist is insane. I am not surprised nor outraged by the reversal of abortion rights. I am preparing for the next rollback.

      We can’t look back at what would have happened if Hillary became President. We have to figure out how to stop additional rollbacks.

      Also, young white women voted for Trump. So this is not just the fault of old Christian men.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    I remember her talking about this in her profile on American Masters. You have to wonder if the doctor really was a licensed physician. I wouldn’t trust Brando to call me a cab. But, yes, if you had the right connections, you could always get an abortion. We’re going back to that. They just won’t be safe.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Brassy Rebel, I applaud Rita Moreno for sharing her story! I wish more people, with her type of caliber, would speak out and UP to the public about life BEFORE Roe v Wade!!

      We need people to understand the OUTCOME of what life was like before the passage. Most people who lived through that time period have passed on on are too scared to share their story. But the more people speak up and out, hopefully it will open their eyes as to how women are being stripped of their rights over their own BODY!!

      I am forever the optimist, but it doesn’t hurt to hope for the best of people to see what is happening. And it’s not limited to abortion rights either.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        If you ever get a chance to watch that American Masters documentary on Rita Moreno, do so. She is 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥!

  3. CuriousCole says:

    Stunned and depressed are the most accurate words right now. We knew this would happen but I’m still grieving. I’ve always been the energizer bunny with fighting for rights and protesting injustices but this is a whole other level.
    I’m also struggling with keeping my resentment of my mother in check. She’s a Wisconsinite who voted for Trump in 2016. She regretted it soon after, and not just because I stopped speaking to her for five months. She’s voted blue ever since but since Friday I am having a hard time remembering she’s not evil, just stupid.

  4. Noki says:

    I am so sorry my US Celebitches!!!I have tried to understand this as best as I can, and over the weekend some of my female group chats were on fire. So my question: It is not an outright ban but It is up to individual states to decide whether you are ‘eligible’ for an abortion and even then it has to be a medical emergency,rape or child abuse pregnancy!?

    • Elizabeth says:

      As far as I can tell, it is now up to individual states, which are mostly going to Republican-dominated state legislatures and governors who are anti-choice. They don’t *have* to even give medical exemptions for the life or sanity of the pregnant person, nor exceptions for rape and incest, or underage victims, or anything like that. Missouri’s current abortion ban, for example, has no exceptions for rape or incest. So sickened right now.

    • CROWHOOD says:

      Basically it is now up to the state to decide. Some have already banned them. Some have exceptions for the life of the mother. Less have exceptions for rape and invest.

    • JanetDR says:

      @Noki, as of right now you can have an abortion for any reason in states that allow abortions. It’s shocking when you look at a map to see how few States that is.
      The US Attorney General has said that the Justice Department will, fight to allow abortion medication to be mailed throughout the US, so that’s something. I think the medication has to be taken quite early but not positive when the cut off is for that.

    • Embee says:

      Essentially, our federal government has decided to defer to the individual states whether a woman has the right to determine whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and under what conditions. Stated differently, our federal government, as adjudicated by the highest court in the land, has punted on whether women are or are not autonomous over their bodies. It depends on where you live whether you are or are not free to make medic al decisions for yourself. That is what has happened.

  5. Becks1 says:

    Not shocked but still stunned is a good way to describe it. We knew this was coming – even if maybe some didn’t think it would be this year with Dobbs (before the leak), those of us paying attention knew this was the goal all along for the Rs and they’ve been playing the long game and that Roe would be overturned sooner rather than later once Trump got three justices on the court.

    It’s horrifying to think of how we are moving backwards.

  6. Flowerlake says:

    She did.

    Too many people were too dumb to vote for her because her emails or wanting to act too woke to vote for her. This is the result. And yes, I blame those people too, not just the Trump voters.

    Also, encourage others to register to vote, everyone.

    • Call Me Mabel says:

      More voters cast their vote for Hillary. She won the popular vote. So, don’t blame the voters.

      • Eurogirl70 says:

        Yes, she can blame the voters. Our system is governed by an electoral college. Only a handful of states are swing states/battleground states . Not enough voters voted for Hillary in PA, MI, WI. Had voters in those key states opted for Hillary we could have avoided Trump in 2016.

      • SussexWatcher says:

        Some voters absolutely can be blamed. Voters like Susan Sarandon, the Jill Stein and Bernie or bust voters, the 53% of white women who voted for T***p, and voters in swing states or battleground states who were more concerned about emails than the Supreme Court.

      • Flowerlake says:

        @Call Me Mabel, I specifically blamed the people who did not vote for stupid reasons, so don’t know why you talk about not blaming the voters(=people who did vote).

        Thanks, Eurogirl70 and Sussexwatcher.
        Winning the popular vote is not enough, and that lesson should have been learned from 2000. I very clearly remember people going on and on about not voting, and it seemed way more of an ego thing (“look at me, I’m too woke to vote for anyone”) than because they genuinely wanted to do good. Problem is that their aggressiveness sometimes persuaded others not to vote either.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I blame everyone who not only voted for Drumpf, but those who DIDN’T vote at all!!!!

      We can’t just blame women that voted for Drumpf!!! Everyone that voted for this incompetent criminal is responsible for those SCOTUS placements!! I also blame those who continue to vote for Repugnant’s like McConnell, Cruz, Green, Gaetz, Nunes, Meadows and a special booby prize for Jordan.

      Hillary was right!!! With Drumpf winning the election, our country has never seen such a destruction of rights, safety, severe right wing hatred/racism as well as the acts on January 6th.!!!

      As for our voting system, it is damaged!! We need to eliminate the EC and chose the winner by popular vote!! It’s not comprehensible for the loser to have control over our country!!

      And make no mistake, this SCOTUS will continue to destroy our rights as more cases are heard!!

      • SussexWatcher says:

        💯 to everything you said, bothsidesnow!!

      • WiththeAmerican says:

        Yeah I’m getting tired of reading “white women voted for trump” – um, many of us did not, and we actively worked to stop him. White women are not a monolith.

        “ The 53 percent figure turned out to be erroneous, and corrected analyses eventually pegged Trump’s share of the white female electorate closer to 47 percent. Nonetheless, the impulse that propelled so many writers to blame white women for electing Trump proved strong enough to survive even after the factual basis was undercut.” <- NY mag

        Women get blamed for everything men do.

      • Truthiness says:

        WiththeAmerican – That is EXACTLY what I’ve always read, 47%, but every week here there is a contingent of “white women gave us Trump.”

        Trump has been sh-tting bricks in private after Dobbs, he specifically thinks it will anger “suburban” women. Nice dogwhistle you douche. Plus he was openly asking women to like him in his 2020 campaign because he knew it was a problem. In 2020 I donated to swing states only, the blue-ness of my state wasn’t budging.

      • ChillinginDC says:

        Yeah more white women voted for Trump in 2020 than they did the last time in 2016. I am just tired.

    • Betsy says:

      @Flowerlake – I blame a metric ton of people. Republicans, first and foremost, for somehow electing worse extremists every time. Bernie/Jill Stein/Ralph Nader voters for putting their purity over everyone else’s reality. Non voters for being the biggest voting block and condemning us all to minority rule.

      But let us never forget that the GOP worked with Facebook and Russia, crafting Ads down to a person and hacking the American voters’ minds.

      • Flowerlake says:


        Agree with you.

        And the ads were indeed a problem, but people were also way too gullible (or happy) to believe in them. I’m quite a gullible person myself, but that level of stupidity is even beyond me.

      • Truthiness says:

        +1 Hilary was up by a huge margin. Trump had been asking publicly to Russia to come up with 30,000 emails and then Comey grandstanded the arrival of the emails. Public servants aren’t supposed to engage in candidate damaging actions close to the election, that f-ker. My state was always going to be blue, but those swing states did it.

  7. AppleCart says:

    Rich white women knew and didn’t care since this doesn’t affect them. They can always hop on a plane to a state that it is legal or to Europe.

    What chaps my ass is the friends that were so pro Bernie in 2016. And sat on their ass and refused to vote for Hillary in protest. With their Never Hillary nonsense. These same friends now have instant amnesia. And all of a sudden claim they were never ‘Never Hillary’ and supported her and Bernie too. The audacity of it all. I have had to end friendships over it.

    • Flowerlake says:

      @Applecart, ugh that must be so annoying.
      They were all warned but ego was more important with a lot of those people.