'SNL' Cold Open Time Travels to the 13th Century to Tackle Abortion Rights
Saturday Night Live traveled back in time to the 13th century to mock Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s perspective on abortion rights. The sketch comes just days after a draft opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked, causing panic that legalized abortion could come to an end.
In the opening of the spoof, a narrator declared that “no woman has a right to an abortion and abortion is a crime.”
“He cites a treatise from the 13th Century about the quickening of the foetus, and a second treatise that says that if the quick child dieth in her body, it would a great misprision. We go now to that profound moment of moral clarity almost a thousand years ago which laid such a clear foundation for what our law should be in 2022,” says the narrator of Alito’s opinion.
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Soon after, host Benedict Cumberbatch appeared as a medieval figure with two other lawmakers (Andrew Dismukes and James Austin Johnson) to debate whether they should pass a law to ban abortion rights. “We should have a law that could stand the test of time, so that hundreds and hundreds of years from now, they will look back and say, ‘No need to update this one at all. They nailed it back in 1235,’” he declares.
Then Cecily Strong stepped in wearing period garb to question the men’s perspective on abortion. “Shouldn’t women have the right to choose, since having a baby means a 50 percent chance of dying?” she asks.
Later, a Merlin-like Kate McKinnon appeared as “just a woman in her thirties” who could see the future.
“These barbaric laws will some day be overturned by something called progress—and then, about 50 years after the progress, they’ll be like, ‘Maybe we should undo the progress,’” she explains. “I don’t know why all my visions from that time are very confusing.”
She also declared that in the future “all the power comes from a place called Florida,” while referencing the strangeness of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial.
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