US remains beacon of freedom despite Supreme Court abortion ruling, says Boris Johnson

·2 min read
Protesters demonstrate outside the US Supreme after its ruling to overturn Roe v Wade - AP
Protesters demonstrate outside the US Supreme after its ruling to overturn Roe v Wade - AP

Boris Johnson has said that the US remains a “shining city on a hill” for “rights and freedom” despite overturning Roe v Wade.

The Prime Minister said in an interview with CNN while at the G7 summit in Germany that he did not think the ruling by the Supreme Court damaged the country’s reputation.

Rowing back on his comments made while in Rwanda earlier in the week, he said: “I want to stress this isn’t our court, it’s not our jurisdiction, so in a sense, anything I say is for the United States.

“But, Roe v Wade judgment when it came out was huge psychologically for people around the world and it spoke of the advancement of the rights of women.

“I regret what seems to me [to be] a backwards step. But this is me looking in from the outside.”

When asked if he thought it hurt the US as a representative of rights and freedom, the Prime Minister said: “No, I want to be very clear about that.

“The United States is, for me, it remains, you know, a shining city on a hill and it’s an incredible guarantor of values, democracy, freedom around the world.

“If you look at what Joe Biden is doing to stick up for people’s rights in Ukraine, it’s quite extraordinary.

“So I don’t see it that way at all, but just on a woman’s right to choose, which I’ve always backed and which we back very much in the UK, it seems to me to be a step backwards.”

Friday’s decision to overturn the nearly 50-year-old right for women to have abortions in America will now allow more than half of states to ban it.

Some 20 states are expected to bring in the ban, meaning abortion would be illegal across much of the south and midwest of the country.

The impact on tens of millions of Americans has seen protestors take to the streets of cities in the US, including outside of the Supreme Court where the judgment was made.

It has led to concern that other rights of Americans may be under scrutiny by the court after the conservative justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion to the ruling: “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”

These three precedents cover contraceptive rights, marriage equality and gay rights.

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