A "mistake" led to the landmark abortion rights decision known as Roe v. Wade, said pro-life advocate Clarke Forsythe.
Forsythe, senior counsel of Americans United For Life and author of "Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade," told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Monday the United States Supreme Court was going through a crisis when it made its ruling.
"It started as a mistake," he said. "The court took two cases to decide some mundane legal issues of jurisdiction and then there was a crisis in the court with two justices resigning, retiring within a week in September of 1971.
"That created a crisis within the court, flipped the balance of the court leaving seven justices . . . and four pro-abortion justices used the opportunity to declare a right to abortion."
One of the "myths" the justices relied on was the assumption that abortion was safer than child birth, he said.
"That wasn't accurate then and it's not accurate today, and yet it continues to drive the decision and drive the courts' control of the issue," he said.
The volatile issue of "fetal viability" wasn’t even considered during oral arguments, he said.
"About a month before they released the decision, the justices started lobbying behind the scenes over the scope of the abortion right that they were creating," he said. "And, up until that time, the justices had considered possibly creating a right to abortion up to 12 weeks and behind the scenes, they decided to expand from 12 weeks to 28 weeks."
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