UK Prime Minister condemns US decision on abortion

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the decision to remove the constitutional right to abortion in the United States as a “big step backwards”.

The United States Supreme Court has ended constitutional abortion protections that had been in place for nearly 50 years by deciding to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision.

This is expected to lead to abortion bans in about half of US states.

The prime minister told reporters at a press conference in Kigali, Rwanda, the decision was a “big step backwards”, adding, “I have always believed in a woman’s right to choose.”

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the US Embassy in London, many holding signs, some reading “our bodies, our choice”.

Pro-choice and MSP activists also gathered outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh.

British politicians from all walks of life spoke out against the decision, including the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, who said it would also embolden anti-abortion and anti-women forces in other countries.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “Today’s devastating Supreme Court ruling is a massive setback for women’s rights in the United States of America.

“The right of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies is a basic human right.”

Former leader Jeremy Corbyn also called it ‘devastating’, and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas said it was a ‘truly barbaric rule and heartbreaking news for women all over the world”.

Some UK groups were quick to speak out against the decision, with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas), the UK’s main abortion provider, saying it was “appalled”.

Chief executive Clare Murphy said: “Banning abortion does not remove the need for women to end a pregnancy.

“It just makes things harder and more dangerous.

“We call on the UK government to publicly condemn this abuse of women’s human rights and to make it clear on the international stage that cutting women’s access to prompt and safe abortion services has absolutely no place in a society that claims to be civilized in the 21st century.

“For our politicians, it would be unforgivable to watch the backsliding of women’s rights in silence. We urge the government to show leadership as a matter of urgency.”

Spokeswoman for UK group Right To Life, Catherine Robinson, said the decision overturned “an unfair law” and was “the start of the legislative battle over abortion, certainly not the end”.

The Women’s Equality Party tweeted: “Make no mistake. Women will die because of this decision, and tens of thousands more will be criminalized or forced to pursue pregnancies they did not choose.

“It’s barbaric, inhumane and utterly heartbreaking. Solidarity with our sisters.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “London stands with American women whose most basic rights and freedoms are threatened by this decision.

“A dark day for a great country.”

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