IN QUOTES | From Biden to Obama to Trump, the UN and the Vatican – the world reacts to the US abortion ruling

Public figures from across the political spectrum reacted to Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which recognized a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and legalized it nationwide.

US President Joe Biden

“It’s a sad day for the court and for the country. This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the list.”

Former US President Donald Trump

“God has made the decision. This follows the Constitution and gives back rights when they should have been given long ago.”

United Nations

“Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly anchored in international human rights law and is at the heart of women’s and girls’ autonomy and the ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives. This decision deprives millions of women who have autonomy in the US, especially those on low incomes and belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights.”

The Vatican Life Academy

†[It] challenges the whole world. [It has] broad social significance. The fact that a large country with a long democratic tradition has changed its position on this issue also poses a challenge for the whole world. By choosing life, our responsibility for the future of humanity is at stake.”

French President Emmanuel Macron

“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. We must protect it. I want to express my solidarity with all those women whose freedoms have been attacked by the US Supreme Court today.”

Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi

“This cruel statement is outrageous and heartbreaking. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the agenda in November.”

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell

“This is a historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.”

(The decision is) “brave and correct.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

It’s a very important decision. I have to tell you I think it’s a big step back,” he told a news conference in Kigali, where he is attending a Commonwealth meeting.

“I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stand by that view and that’s why the UK has the laws it has.”

Former US President Barack Obama

“Today the Supreme Court has not only overturned nearly 50 years of precedent, it has relegated the most intensely personal decision anyone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues — an attack on the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama

“I’m devastated that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land — a time when women risked losing their lives undergoing illegal abortions.”

Former US Vice President Mike Pence

“Today life has won. By overthrowing Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court has given the American people a new beginning for life, and I commend the majority judges for the courage of their convictions.

“Now that we have been given this second chance at life, we must not rest or give in until the sanctity of life is restored to every state in the country at the center of American law.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“The news coming out of the United States is horrific. No government, politician or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body.” I can’t imagine the fear and anger you feel right now,” he said, reassuring women in Canada that he would “always stand up for your right to choose.”

Senator Patty Murray

“Republicans force women to stay pregnant and give birth when they don’t want to — no matter the circumstances. The American people will not forget the brutality of Republicans — not today, not tomorrow, not in November.”

Republican Senator Steve Daines

“The decision of the United States Supreme Court… ends a historic injustice and rightly ends one of the world’s most horrific abortion policies… America.”

– Additional reporting by News24 and AFP