Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito mocked prominent figures around the world who have condemned and criticized the ruling to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision that nationalized women’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Alito made his first public remarks since the ruling was announced, dismissing widespread criticism of the ruling. The ruling immediately led to various conservative states imposing abortion bans, creating a patchwork of rights across the nation.
Criticism has come from across the world, including the likes of British prime minister Boris Johnson, French president Emmanuel Macron and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
Alito, who is a Conservative justice, also took fire at Prince Harry, who referenced the ruling in a speech he gave at the United Nations last week.
Alito’s speech was previously unannounced, and delivered on July 21 at a conference on religious liberty in Rome, hosted by the University of Notre Dame law school.
“I had the honor 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,” Alito said.
Alito made snarky remarks about Johnson, joking that he “paid the price” for his remarks, as Johnson is stepping down as the leader following criticism from within his party. Johnson said striking down Roe was “a big step backward.”
Alito also sarcastically referenced Prince Harry’s speech at the UN, saying the royal “seemed to compare the decision whose name may not be spoken with the Russian attack on Ukraine.” Prince Harry in his speech spoke of 2022 as “a painful year in a painful decade,” citing the war in Ukraine and “the rolling back of constitutional rights here in the United States.”
Macron said abortion was a fundamental right and women’s freedoms were “compromised” by the Supreme Court. Trudeau called the decision “horrific.”
Alito’s sarcastic comments come as a 12-year-old girl in West Virginia gave an impassioned plea to Republican lawmakers during a public hearing for an abortion bill that would prohibit the procedure in nearly all cases.
Addison Gardner was among several about 90 other speakers, who spoke out against a bill that would not only ban abortions in most cases but also allow for physicians who perform abortions to be prosecuted.
“My education is very important to me and I plan on doing great things in life. If a man decides that I’m an object and does unspeakable and tragic things to me, am I, a child, supposed to carry and birth another child?” Gardner said.
“Am I to put my body through the physical trauma of pregnancy? Am I to suffer the mental implications, a child, who had no say in what was being done with my body? Some here say they are pro-life. What about my life? Does my life not matter to you?”