The U.S. Supreme Court will likely chip away at the Roe vs. Wade abortion decision rather than overturn it altogether, and that's good for the Republican Party because if the decision is ever overruled, the GOP "would never win another national election," Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said on Newsmax Friday.
"The vast majority of Americans believe that a woman should have a right to choose abortion and Roe vs. Wade has been a godsend to the Republican Party because it has taken abortion out of politics," Dershowitz said on Newsmax's "American Agenda." "If abortion is put back into politics, it's the death knell of the Republican Party."
Dershowitz's comments come after the state of Mississippi on Thursday urged the Supreme Court, in a major case set to be argued in its next term, to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling that women have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion.
Dershowitz, who said Friday that he supports the right of a woman to have an abortion and believes it "should be a matter of choice between a woman, a doctor, and her family," further pointed out that as the controversial ruling has been considered a constitutional right for over 50 years, it's regarded as a "super precedent."
For that reason, Dershowitz said he doesn't believe five court justices will vote to overrule a precedent that "has been counted on for many people."
"The Supreme Court may chip away at the edges, and they probably will," said Dershowitz. "There's probably a majority for that. But there is not a majority for overruling Roe vs. Wade."
Part of the arguments against the ruling concerns when it comes to the date of viability, meaning the time when a fetus can live outside the womb without further assistance, and Dershowitz said those numbers have changed since 1973 because now, fetuses are viable at a much earlier stage than before.
"Viability is a matter of degree, and it changes over time," said Dershowitz. "The Supreme Court may look at statutes that make it a little more difficult to get an abortion."
Further, Dershowitz said he doesn't think the Supreme Court will do anything dramatic, particularly if the decision would come just before the 2022 midterm elections.
But if it does, and Roe vs. Wade is overturned, "if I was a Republican, I'd be very frightened of that," Dershowitz said.
He also said that he believes the Supreme Court will strike down a move to make the viability date much earlier than the 24 weeks standard now in play.
"The inclination of the justices is to make it harder to get an abortion but not to overrule Roe vs. Wade," said Dershowitz. "You're asking me my constitutional analysis, (and that) is that the Supreme Court won't overrule it, but will tinker with it, and it's been doing that now for the last decade or so."
And even with the court now having its strongest conservative majority in years, he believes that just two or "maybe three" would be willing to totally overrule the decision, but "there might be really more than that who might be willing to cut back on certain provisions," Dershowitz said.
Meanwhile, several states have tried to roll back the viability guidelines concerning when abortions can be performed, and Dershowitz said "they ought to be smarter about it."
"They ought to try to think about if they want to restrict it, (do) it in a way that doesn't run directly" into overruling Roe vs. Wade, said Dershowitz. "It's just not going to happen. If you ask the court to do something that Roe didn't assert as a constitutional right, there is some chance of doing that."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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