NEW YORK (AP) — For evangelical Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell Jr., this is their political holy grail.
Like many religious conservatives in a position to know, the Liberty University president with close ties to the White House suspects that the Supreme Court vacancy President Donald Trump fills in the coming months will ultimately lead to the reversal of the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. But instead of celebrating publicly, some evangelical leaders are downplaying their fortune on an issue that has defined their movement for decades.
“What people don’t understand is that if you overturn Roe v. Wade, all that does is give the states the right to decide whether abortion is legal or illegal,” Falwell told The Associated Press in an interview. “My guess is that there’d probably be less than 20 states that would make abortion illegal if given that right.”
Falwell added: “In the ’70s, I don’t know how many states had abortion illegal before Roe v. Wade, but it won’t be near as many this time.”