Sacramento County Board of Supervisors candidate Jaclyn Moreno last week announced that she is among the women who had a legal abortion under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which protects people who choose to have an abortion.
“I’m one of the estimated 30% of women that have had an abortion,” she told the Herald.
Moreno, who currently serves as president of the Cosumnes Community Services District Board, made her announcement on May 3 after the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion that suggests that this ruling could be overturned later this year.
The decision in Roe v. Wade, which has stood for nearly a half-century, allows states to regulate but not ban abortions until a fetus becomes viable, at about the six-month mark of a pregnancy.
In a statement issued on May 3, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts responded to the leak and the court’s efforts to make a decision on this issue.
“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed,” he wrote. “The work of the court will not be affected in any way.”
Despite his confirmation of the draft opinion, Roberts noted that the court’s decision is not final.
Moreno responded to the 98-page draft opinion, which was obtained by the online news media publication, Politico, and published in its entirety on May 2.
“What it does is it sends a clear message implying that women are not valued, are not capable about making their own decisions about their own lives,” she said. “And living in a country where we don’t have the same civil rights that others have feels really heavy, and it makes me angry, and it brings a lot of despair. It’s just hard.”
Although she expressed frustration with the draft opinion, Moreno noted that she was not surprised.
“The three Supreme Court justices that were chosen by our last president were extremely right-leaning, so we have been preparing for this for quite some time,” she said. “But it didn’t make it less devastating. It still has and will have an impact.”
Returning to her own personal story, Moreno spoke about why she opted to have an abortion.
“I was 19 years old,” she said. “I was not financially or mentally prepared to be a mother, and it was the best choice for me. And I was so happy to be able to have that choice, and I think that’s the bottom line.”
Moreno mentioned that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that decision would not lead to a decrease in abortions.
“They will continue to have abortions; they will just be unsafe,” she said.
“When you’re not prepared to have a child, whether that’s financially or emotionally or physically, and you’re forced into a pregnancy, you’re going to take measures into your own hands when access to care is not available. You saw that before Roe v. Wade, and knowing that that’s the future for some women in our country, it’s just devastating.”
Moreno stressed that pregnant women should have the right to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions.
“Having ownership of our own bodies from the skin in is a critical freedom,” she said. “But I have to say, over the last few days, I am encouraged by what I’ve seen in California. People are motivated and ready to continue to fight back. And we can’t just sit idly. We have to stand up and we have to make sure that our voices are heard about this.”
Moreno spoke about her own plan to fight to preserve Roe v. Wade.
“(I will) continue to speak up, continue to use my voice, continue to tell my story to reduce the stigma,” she said. “Running for office is something that I’m doing in the fight, because we have to have lawmakers that are pro-choice who will fight for access to care.”