Prince Harry and Boris Johnson mocked by US Supreme Court judge for speaking out against aborting ruling

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

A US Supreme Court judge has mocked prominent figures around the world, including Prince Harry and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for speaking out against the decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

In what appeared to be his first public comments since the decision was handed down last month, Justice Samuel Alito dismissed criticism from the British pair, as well as from French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The judge, who authored the argument overturning the landmark ruling that enshrined the right to an abortion in the US, condemned the global figures for weighing in on "American law".

In a speech at a conference on religious liberty in Rome last week, he said: "I had the honour this term of writing, I think, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders - who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law."

"One of these was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but he paid the price," he joked, appearing to reference Mr Johnson's decision to step down as prime minister following widespread criticism of his leadership from within the Conservative Party.

"But what really wounded me - what really wounded me - was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and seemed to compare the decision, whose name may not be spoken, with the Russian attack on Ukraine," Mr Alito said.

Harry described 2022 as a "painful year in a painful decade," during the speech on 18 July.

He said the world was "witnessing a global assault on democracy and freedom", pointing to the "horrific war in Ukraine to the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States", among other global events, as examples.

Mr Johnson, meanwhile, had criticised the decision as a "big step backwards". A spokesperson for Mr Johnson's office didn't have anything to add to his remarks.

Harry and the prime minister were far from alone, with Mr Macron tweeting that abortion was "a fundamental right for all women" that "must be protected", while Mr Trudeau branded the decision "horrific", saying: "No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body."

Others, including global women's health groups, also joined the criticism.

'Religious liberty is a fundamental right'

Mr Alito said that "despite this temptation, I'm not going to talk about cases from other countries".

"All I'm going to say is that, ultimately, if we are going to win the battle to protect religious freedom in an increasingly secular society, we will need more than positive law," he said.

Mr Alito also lauded US efforts to protect religious liberty around the world, saying: "Religious liberty is an international problem, but I do think that we Americans can take special pride in our country's contribution to the development of a global consensus at least on the level of international agreements in support of this fundamental right."

Read more: Pregnant woman disputes ticket for using carpool lane saying foetus 'counts as passenger'

"Religious liberty is under attack in many places because it is dangerous to those who want to hold complete power," he said, adding: "It also probably grows out of something dark and deep in the human DNA, a tendency to distrust and dislike people who are not like ourselves."

Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion as part of his administration's response to the Supreme Court's ruling.

Biden said the Supreme Court decision was "totally wrong-headed" and "extreme."

"This was not a decision driven by the constitution," he said. "The court has made clear it will not protect the rights of women."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting