The US Supreme Court judge who passed a ruling which has led to many American states imposing abortion bans, has hit back at Prince Harry and Boris Johnson over their criticism of the decision.
In a speech in Rome on religious freedom, Samuel Alito mocked the prince who had previously described the overturning of the Roe v Wade ruling which had legalised abortion in 1973 as "the rolling back of constitutional rights". Harry had also cited the Ukraine war as an example of 2022 being "a painful year in a painful decade."
Speaking sarcastically at the event which was hosted by the University of Notre Dame Law School Samuel Alito said:
"What really wounded me - what really wounded me - was when the Duke of Sussex addressed the United Nations and seemed to compare the decision whose name may not be spoken with the Russian attack on Ukraine."
He went on to say:
"It is hard to convince people that religious liberty is worth defending if they don't think that religion is a good thing that deserves protection.
"The challenge for those who want to protect religious liberty in the United States, Europe, and other similar places is to convince people who are not religious that religious liberty is worth special protection. That will not be easy to do."
Leaders including Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have all denounced the Supreme Court's ruling, but Mr Alito appears nonplussed:
"I had the honour this term of writing I think the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law.
"One of these was Boris Johnson, but he paid the price," Alito joked, as a reference to the Prime Minister being forced to resign as leader of the Conservative Party.
The US Supreme Court ruling removing the constitutional right to abortion was passed down in June by a vote of 5-4. While being hailed as a victory by pro-life supporters, it has triggered widespread protests and disapproval from abortion-rights supporters at home and abroad.