Rita Moreno speaks out about botched abortion she had before Roe v. Wade
Rita Moreno spoke out this Friday about the botched illegal abortion she had during her romance with Marlon Brando, years before Roe v. Wade.
Her comments came the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe, the landmark 1973 ruling that guaranteed abortion rights across the country.
The 90-year-old told Variety she had her pregnancy terminated by “a real doctor – Marlon paid him $500 – rather than something in a back alley.”
Looking back: Rita Moreno spoke out this Friday about the botched illegal abortion she had during her romance with Marlon Brando, years before Roe v. Wade
Rita and Marlon met in 1954 and began a rambunctious eight-year affair that was scarred by his womanizing and eventually drove her to commit suicide.
While he was with Rita, Marlon married his first two wives and had children with both.
Rita wrote in her memoir that when she became pregnant herself, “To my shock and horror, Marlon immediately arranged an abortion.”
She claimed that Marlon wouldn’t even pick her up after the unauthorized procedure itself, but instead enlist one of his friends for the task.
As they were: Rita and Marlon met in 1954 on the set of Desiree, where they are pictured, and began a tempestuous eight-year affair
In her new interview with Variety, she recalled that “Marlon found a doctor through some friends” to perform the abortion.
“Marlon took me to the hospital. I had what they told me was a ‘disturbed pregnancy’. The doctor didn’t really do anything except make me bleed. In other words, he didn’t do well,” she said. “I didn’t know it then, but I could have died. What a mess. What a terrible mess.’
In her memoir, she explained the medical problem in more detail, explaining that as a result of the botched procedure, she still had a dead fetus in her body and had to run to the hospital to have it excised.
Her boyfriend’s reaction was to be furious that the abortionist had “taken” him, Rita recalled. “Marlon wanted his money back!”
‘What a horrible mess’: Rita, pictured in 1955 during her romance with Marlon, revealed in a new interview with Variety that she ‘could have died’ from her botched abortion
She told Variety this Friday that she was “cheerful” when Roe v Wade was released and has been left “depressed” by the decision to nullify it.
The power to enact abortion laws is now back with states, 13 of which already had ‘trigger’ abortion bans on the books, ready to take effect after Roe was gone.
A unanimous opinion on the new ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas urged the Supreme Court to reevaluate other past liberal rulings that federally guaranteed same-sex marriage, same-sex activity and contraception.
However, the rest of the six conservative members of the Supreme Court did not participate in Judge Thomas’s agreement.
Iconic moment: Rita is pictured with George Chakiris in West Side Story, the film that earned her an Academy Award shortly after her split from Marlon
This Friday, protests erupted in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix, as well as Washington, DC, where the Telegraph reports that riot police have sealed off the Supreme Court perimeter.
US President Joe Biden denounced the statement as a “tragic mistake”, while pleading with protesters to remain “peaceful, peaceful, peaceful.”
Referring to her own failed abortion, Rita told Variety, “I see that happening now and go back to alleys. I’m really nervous and scared and shocked that this is happening. I can’t believe some of those people are telling us what to do with our bodies.’
She stated: “Hilary Clinton warned everyone about this. I wasn’t shocked because I saw it coming, but I’m stunned.’
Her take: She told Variety this Friday that she was “cheerful” when Roe v Wade was issued and has remained “depressed” by the decision to nullify it; in the picture in March
Rita said, “I’m thinking of the young girls. Pushed to the limit, girls who get pregnant through rape or incest. Dishonest isn’t strong enough, but it’s unfair.’ She added: “I’m sorry I’m not the most articulate today, but I’m just shocked.”
She continued: ‘We noisy mouths will have to get busy. There are many of us. I think what are we going to do about this? In any case, this has reactivated us.’
After Rita’s abortion, Marlon began an affair with his Mutiny on the Bounty co-star Tarita Teriipaia, who became his third and final wife.
Rita was so distraught that she overdosed on Marlon’s sleeping pills in what she described as “not a revenge suicide, but a comfort, a death without pain.”
Demonstration: This Friday, protests broke out in cities like New York (pictured), Los Angeles, San Francisco and Phoenix, as well as Washington, D.C.
Marlon’s assistant got to Rita in the nick of time, and she survived the suicide attempt after having her stomach pumped in the hospital.
At the urging of Rita’s therapist, she and Marlon eventually lost touch, and shortly after, she won her Oscar for West Side Story.
“We were really addicted to each other,” Rita told the Wall Street Journal decades later. “And you know, addictions are very, very hard to get rid of, very bad.”