Public figures across the political spectrum reacted to the US Supreme Court ruling on Friday overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision that recognised a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalised it nationwide.
US President Joe Biden
“It’s a sad day for the court and for the country. This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot.”
Former US president Donald Trump
“God made the decision This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago.”
“Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls’ autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives. This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights.”
The Vatican’s Academy for Life
“[It] challenges the whole world. [It has] broad social significance. The fact that a large country with a long democratic tradition has changed its position on this issue also challenges the whole world. By choosing life, our responsibility for the future of humanity is at stake.”
French President Emmanuel Macron
“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. We must protect it. I would like to express my solidarity with all those women whose freedoms have today been compromised by the US Supreme Court.”
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November.”
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell
“This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.”
(The decision is) “courageous and correct.”
Overturning Roe and outlawing abortions will never make them go away.It only makes them more dangerous, especially for the poor + marginalized.People will die because of this decision. And we will never stop until abortion rights are restored in the United States of America.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 24, 2022
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
It’s a very important decision. I’ve got to tell you, I think it’s a big step backwards,” he told a news conference in Kigali, where he is attending a Commonwealth meeting.
“I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that is why the UK has the laws that it does.”
Former US president Barack Obama
“Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues – attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama
“I am heartbroken that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land – a time when women risked losing their lives getting illegal abortions.”
So let me get this straight. A state has the right to restrict abortions, but doesn’t have the right to restrict firearms? Is that what we have now in these “United” States?
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 23, 2022
Former US vice president Mike Pence
“Today, Life Won. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life, and I commend the justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions.
“Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“The news coming out of the United States is horrific. No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.” I can’t imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now,” he said, while reassuring women in Canada that he would “always stand up for your right to choose.”
The US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade is devastating for the millions who have fought and won reproductive rights in every state.We stand in solidarity with all fighting for abortion rights and access to healthcare around the world.https://t.co/UKThBFv2Jc
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 24, 2022
Senator Patty Murray
“Republicans are forcing women to stay pregnant and give birth when they don’t want to – no matter the circumstances. The American people will not forget Republicans’ cruelty – not today, not tomorrow, and not this November.”
Republican senator Steve Daines
“The United States Supreme Court’s decision … ends a historic injustice and rightfully ends one of the world’s most horrific abortion policies … The long overdue demise of judicially-imposed abortion on demand gives bright new hope to unborn children and their moms across America.”
– Additional reporting by News24 and AFP