UK prime minister: Roe decision will have impact ‘around the world’
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday described the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a person’s constitutional right to an abortion as a “big step backwards” that will impact people’s thinking around the world.
“I’ve been absolutely clear with everybody — this is not our court, it’s another jurisdiction. But clearly it will have an impact on people’s thinking around the world, it’s a big decision,” Johnson said in response to a reporter’s question during a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda.
“But I’ve got to tell you I think it’s a big step backwards, I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that’s why the U.K. has the law that it does and we recently took steps to make sure those laws were enforced throughout the whole of the U.K.”
A majority of conservative justices on the Supreme Court on Friday struck down the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling hands authority to states to regulate abortions, with nearly half of states poised to impose strict restrictions on the ability to safely access abortion.
Other leaders in Europe also reacted to the court’s ruling, with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeting that he is “very concerned about the implications” of the ruling “and the signal it sends to the world.”
President Biden on Friday criticized the court as taking the country on an “extreme and dangerous path” and called the decision a “tragic error.”
Biden is leaving for Europe this weekend to attend a Group of Seven meeting in Germany and a NATO summit in Madrid.
While the international gatherings are aimed at addressing crises related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and long-term global challenges of food security, climate change and economic instability, the domestic strife in the U.S. is likely to reflect on the president’s efforts at projecting U.S. leadership.