Last week — on top of everything else the world is dealing with right now — a leaked document showed that the right-leaning Supreme Court is awfully close to overturning Roe v. Wade (with some help from Republican lawmakers). When the decision is finalized, as early as June, free and legal abortion would be outlawed in just under half the country. It’s no laughing matter, which is why SNL did what they could with the first sketch on their latest episode: They made fun of it.
In the leaked draft, Justice Samuel Alito tried to buttress his flimsy argument for overturning a 50-year-old case by citing, among other things, a treatise dating back to the 13th century. So SNL decided to go back to Medieval times in hopes of portraying his argument as surreally outdated.
The sketch finds host Benedict Cumberbatch lording over a small — and, of course, all male — group looking to make abortion illegal. “We should have a law that could stand the test of time,” Cumberbatch’s character says, “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.’”
When confronted by an actual woman — a peasant played by Cecily Strong — they assume she, who will soon have fewer rights than she did already, they blow up. “Uh-oh, woman hear ideas and it makes her think, ‘Why I no have those?’” said one of the men, played by Andrew Dismukes.
“I just don’t understand why you’re obsessed with this issue,” Strong’s character says. “What about the fact that no one can read or write and everyone’s dying of plague?”
“You think just because I have active plague, that means I have to wear a mask?” Dismukes responds. “It’s my body, my choice.”
Eventually Kate McKinnon shows up as a witch — or, well, just a woman over 30. “Worry not, dear girl, these barbaric laws will someday 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 tells them. “I don’t know why all my visions from that time are very confusing. It seems like all the power comes from a place called Florida. And if you think our customs are weird. You should watch the trial of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard!”
You can watch the sketch in the video above.