In a column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis -- who admits he opposes abortion -- warned fellow conservatives and Republicans alike that, should the Supreme Court strike down the landmark Roe v Wade ruling, it could have a long-range and devastating impact on the GOP's political future.
Lewis, who had previously applauded the appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court, claims it is likely some or part of Roe could be dismantled and warned conservatives to prepare for the blowback.
"It's been a month since we learned that the Supreme Court will take up a case that could result in weakening—or even reversing—Roe v. Wade, the 1973 precedent that legalized abortion; it's clear that the general public has not fully comprehended (a) the likelihood this will happen, (b) the timeframe, or (c) the political ramifications. I know this is true because I was shocked recently to discover that some of my smarter and better-connected conservative friends are increasingly hopeful Roe will be reversed. This simultaneously pleased and, I must confess, frightened me," he wrote before cautioning, "That's because the media outrage and potential political backlash could be explosive, and this could turn out to be not exactly a pyrrhic victory for opponents of abortion but certainly one that inflicts more damage than they currently seem to be anticipating."
As Lewis explains, he believes Roe was decided on "shaky grounds" which makes it a ripe target for being taken apart by the current conservative court -- but he also fears what will happen after.
"Short of completely overturning Roe, I think the most likely decision would allow states to ban abortions after 15 weeks. (This may surprise readers, but this law would still be more liberal than cosmopolitan France!),": he explained. "Regardless, this would still create a firestorm of backlash. To fully appreciate this, it's important to understand how important this hot-button issue has been for nearly 50 years, with public opinion remaining divided even as it's shifted dramatically on things like gay rights and interracial marriage."
"The long-term implications of all of this could involve white college-educated suburbanites fleeing the GOP in even larger numbers than we have seen, as well as ironically removing what is one of the few remaining reasons NeverTrump conservatives might have had for staying in the party. (To be sure, those who believe that this is a life-or-death moral issue should be willing to suffer political consequences, but suffer, they may)," he predicted. "It's also important to note that overturning Roe would not ban abortion, but rather, send the decision back to the states. Interestingly, though, this, too, could pose a political problem for Republicans. Gaming out what might happen there, it's possible that conservative voters (who wrongly assumed all this would actually ban all abortion) will be disenchanted and feel misled by a corrupt system and its establishment elites."
With that he warned a ruling against Roe could lead to a wave of furious voters turning out for the 2022 midterms.
"Right now, history suggests that Republicans will reclaim the House and Senate, but all bets are off if this political atomic bomb hits… and if it does hit, it will likely be just months before the voting. What if Joe Biden actually gains seats in the midterms?" he asked before adding, "Now, I'm not suggesting that the short-term political fallout means that people who oppose abortion on principle should abandon the fight. It's just that they should gird their loins. People have no idea how likely this variable is to occur. If you think 2020 and 2021 were interesting, you ain't seen nothing yet."