Even as a weekly sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live is no stranger when it comes to supporting important movements. SNL showed solidarity with Ukraine with a somber and low-key cold open earlier in the season, and they make plenty of jokes urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
During the 2022 Mother's Day episode that aired on May 7, the cast took another firm stance by wearing shirts that say "1973." But what do the shirts mean?
What do the 1973 shirt from 'SNL' mean?
The episode was hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch, and there were many hilarious sketches. Among the hilarity, there were also plenty of jabs against the U.S. Supreme Court, which is threatening to overturn the decades-old ruling of Roe v. Wade. The 1973 shirts refer to the ongoing battle to defend abortion rights.
The landmark case of Roe v. Wade represented a turning point for reproductive rights in the United States. At the end of the trial, it was ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant person's right to an abortion without excessive government interference. The decision was made in January 1973.
Since then, the topic of abortion has remained highly controversial in the United States, and the conflict reached a head in early May 2022.
According to a leaked opinion obtained by Politico, the Supreme Court is currently preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. This would effectively outlaw access to safe abortions in many states. Protesters have since voiced their outrage against the Supreme Court, including the cast of Saturday Night Live.
Much of the cast, including Benedict himself, wore shirts that said "1973" on them. These shirts clearly laid out SNL's stance on Roe v. Wade as they stood to defend abortion rights.
Many sketches and jokes throughout the episode were also dedicated to the cast's political leanings. In a rare instance where the host is featured in the cold open, Benedict is featured in a sketch criticizing the Supreme Court's views on abortion.