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‘Saturday Night Live’ tackles draft abortion opinion with look at Middle Ages

After Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, a flashback to 13th century England on 'Saturday Night Live'
Saturday Night Live/YouTube
After Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, a flashback to 13th century England on ‘Saturday Night Live’

“Saturday Night Live” in its latest episode targeted the draft Supreme Court opinion that shows justices are poised to scale back abortion rights, transporting viewers back to medieval times when “a clear foundation for what our laws should be in 2022” was established.

In the opening sketch, an announcer told viewers “we go now to that profound moment of moral clarity, almost a thousand years ago, which laid such a clear foundation for what our laws should be in 2022.”

The camera then turned to the interior of a castle featuring cast members James Austin Johnson and Andrew Dismukes and guest host Benedict Cumberbatch dressed in medieval costumes with wigs. The three men began discussing a potential new law they wanted to impose.

“While I was cleaning the hole on the side of the castle where we poop and then it falls through the sky into a moat of human feces, I started to think about abortion,” Cumberbatch’s character said. “Don’t you think we ought to make a law against it?”

He said he wanted the law to “stand the test of time so that hundreds and hundreds of years from now they’ll look back and say, ‘no need to update this one at all, they nailed it back in 1235.’”

Johnson’s character then poked fun at a law allowing states to make decisions on abortion — which would occur if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court — saying to the group “maybe we shouldn’t ban abortion in all of England, we could decide it on a fiefdom by fiefdom basis.”

After more conversation between the trio, a woman, played by Cecily Strong, entered the room to inquire about a woman’s right to choose.

“I was just wondering, since I’m almost at the child-bearing age of 12, shouldn’t women have the right to choose since having a baby means like a 50 percent chance of dying,” Strong’s character asked.

“Yes, but that’s why we’re also offering maternity leave. When you’re done with 20 years of continuous maternity, you can leave,” Johnson’s character responded.

Kate McKinnon, later identified as a witch, then appeared in the sketch.

“My god, an ogre!” Cumberbatch’s character exclaimed.

“No no, just a woman in her thirties,” McKinnon’s character responded. She said she ate a “weird mushroom” that gave her the ability to “see the future.”

“These barbaric laws will someday be overturned by something called progress, and then, after about 50 years after the progress, they’ll be like, maybe we should undo the progress,” McKinnon’s character said.

The sketch came days after Politico published a draft opinion that said the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that permits abortion on the federal level.

In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito pointed to a treatise from the 13th century that characterized abortion has homicide.

The draft ruling, which was leaked from the court in a stunning breach of confidentiality, has since caused outrage among abortion rights supporters.

Tags Kate McKinnon Samuel Alito
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