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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson calls overturning of Roe v. Wade a ‘backward step,’ says the ruling ‘spoke of the advancement’ of women’s rights

US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend the G7 group photo on the first day of the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau on June 26, 2022 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Stefan Rousseau – Pool/Getty Images

  • The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. 
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the move “backwards.”
  • However, he said it doesn’t change the view of the US image as representative of democracy and freedom.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was a “step backwards.”

“I want to stress that this is not our court, it’s not our jurisdiction,” Johnson told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “So, in a sense, it’s for the United States, it’s not for the UK. But the Roe v. Wade judgment, when it came out, was important psychologically for people around the world, and it spoke of the advancement of the rights of women, I think.”

Johnson added: “And I regret what seems to me to be a backward step,” he continued. “But I’m speaking as someone looking in from the outside.”

On Friday, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling overturned the 1973 landmark decision that made abortion legal. Several states already have triggered laws that would ban abortion. 

However, Johnson said he doesn’t think it changes the US’s role and image as a representative of rights and freedom.

“I think the United States, for me, it remains a shining city on a hill. It’s an incredible guarantor of values, democracy, freedom around the world,” he said. 

Several global reproductive and women’s rights groups have condemned the decision, adding that it could have consequences worldwide. 

“Almost all unsafe abortions currently occur in developing countries, and UNFPA fears that more unsafe abortions will occur around the world if access to abortion becomes more restricted. Decisions reversing progress gained have a wider impact on the rights and choices of women and adolescents everywhere,”  the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency said in a statement. 

Sarah Shaw, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Global Head of Advocacy, said the impact of the decision will “also be felt around the world.”

“But while this vote may embolden the anti-choice movement around the world, it has also motivated the global community to reassert the right to choose,” ,” she wrote in a statement. “To anyone who wants to deny someone’s right to make decisions about what is right for their body and their future, our message is ‘We are not going back.'”

She added, “We will never stop working towards a world where everyone, everywhere has the right to choose, and this attack only strengthens our resolve.”


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