"We loud mouths are going to have to get busy."

Rita Moreno, who survived a botched abortion before it was legalized, is speaking out against the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I'm really nervous and frightened and horrified that this is taking place," she told Variety. "I can't believe that some of those people are telling us what to do with our bodies."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: Rita Moreno attends the 27th Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Celebration at Dolby Terrace at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
Rita Moreno
| Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty

Moreno, 90, said that when she became pregnant years before 1973's landmark Roe decision, her then-boyfriend Marlon Brando paid a doctor $500 to perform the abortion. However, Moreno began bleeding during the procedure.

"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."

She added that when Roe v. Wade was handed down nearly 50 years ago she was jubilant, but Friday's ruling left her depressed. "I can see that thing happening now and going back to back alleys," she said. "I'm not shocked because I saw it coming, but I'm stunned."

The West Side Story star told Variety that she's most concerned for young girls in this newly restrictive landscape. "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."

This isn't the first time the Oscar winner has spoken out about her experience; she addressed it in her 2011 book, Rita Moreno: A Memoir, and her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, which was released in 2021.

Moreno said she plans to keep advocating for safe and legal access to reproductive health care. "We loud mouths are going to have to get busy. There are many of us. I'm thinking what are we going to do about this? If anything, this has reactivated us."

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