SNL took aim at the leaked draft of the Supreme Court decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion in the show’s cold open.
Saturday’s host Benedict Cumberbatch and his fellow SNL cast members star in a sketch set in 13th century England, riffing on Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision that cites a treatise from that era.
‘We go now to that profound moral clarity almost a thousand years ago, which laid such a clear foundation for what our laws should be in 2022,’ said a narrator setting up the sketch.
Three men, including one played by Cumberbatch, become obsessed with outlawing abortion.
‘Don’t you think we ought to make a law against it?’ asked Cumberbatch.
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SNL also poked fun at the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision indicating the justices are poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion in the show’s cold open
Cumberbatch and his fellow SNL cast members star in a sketch set in 13th century England, riffing on Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision that cites a treatise from that era
Benedict Cumberbatch plays a character obsessed with the idea of outlawing abortion
Cast members James Austin Johnson and Aristotle Athari question Cumberbatch
‘Like the law we have against pointy shoes?’ retorted cast member James Austin Johnson.
‘Or the law that if you hunt dear in the forest they remove your genitals?’ added fellow cast member Aristotle Athari
The sketch goes on mocking the idea of such old laws being seen as relevant in the 21st century.
‘Exactly!’ Cumberbatch’s character responds. ‘Something that’s fair and reasonable like those laws. We should make a law that stands 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!’
He also warns against anyone leaking their conversation to the town crier, in reference to the uproar over Alito’s decision being leaked to Politico.
The sketch goes on mocking the idea of such old laws being seen as relevant in the 21st century
Cecily Strong then enters the scene as a woman (or, as she points out, a child of the age of 12) trying to reason with the men and keep abortion legal
Cecily Strong then enters the scene as a woman (or, as she points out, a child of the age of 12) trying to reason with the men and keep abortion legal.
‘Shouldn’t women have the right to choose since having a baby means a 50 percent chance of dying.’
Cumberbatch responds: ‘Yes, but that’s why we’re also offering maternity leave. When you’re done with 20 years of continuous maternity, you can leave.’
The sketch then mocks anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who used the pro-choice slogan ‘my body, my choice’ with regard to their rejection of masking policies and vaccines.
‘Just because I have active plague that means I have to wear a mask? It’s my body, my choice,’ says Athari.
Kate McKinnon later enters the scene, with Cumberbatch thinking she’s an ogre.
Kate McKinnon later enters the scene, with Cumberbatch thinking she’s an ogre
‘No no, just a woman in her 30s,’ says McKinnon, who claims she can see the future and knows that the laws will one day be overturned.
‘And then after about 50 years after the progress, then they’ll be like ”Maybe we should undo the progress.”
‘No matter how many choices they take away from women, we’ve always got the choice to keep fighting!’ exclaims McKinnon, before Cumberbatch and crew determine she’s a witch and set out to light her on fire.
Weekend Update then riffed on the news as well later in the show.
‘Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, whether you wanted to be one or not,’ joked Colin Jost.
McKinnon then appeared as conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
If and when the draft is made final, the decision removes the federal right to abortion in America, leaving it up to elected officials in each state to decide whether or not women should have access to abortions.
Twenty-six states are likely to ban it if Roe v. Wade is formally overturned, essentially outlawing abortion in more than half of the country. Eighteen states already have restrictive abortion laws in place.
The news sent shock waves throughout Washington D.C. with Democrats vowing to codify the legal right to an abortion into law and Republicans demanding an investigation into the leak, claiming it was done to try and influence the high court ahead of its formal ruling.
Perhaps anticipating backlash, the Supreme Court building initially was barricaded Monday night before being watched by security.