Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes Roe v. Wade gave momentum to the anti-abortion movement in a way that could have been avoided had the case been handled differently.

Ginsburg, speaking Wednesday at the International Women’s Health Coalition anniversary dinner, said a different approach might have obviated such the contentious fight over abortion that we see today.

"I think if the court had gone step-by-step as we did in the gender equality cases, the court and the public would have reacted in a more positive way than it did," Ginsburg said, as quoted in Cosmopolitan.

She added that Roe “established a target” and that “a movement focused on ending access to abortion for women grew up, flourished, around that one target.”

"There might have been a backlash in any case," Ginsburg said. "But I think [due to Roe] it took on steam."

This echoes Ginsburg’s sentiments in 1985, when she called the Roe decision “heavy-handed judicial activism” that “appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

In the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which Roe was upheld with new restrictions on abortions, Ginsburg’s colleague, Justice Antonin Scalia, drove the point home.

"National politics were not plagued by abortion protests, national abortion lobbying, or abortion marches on Congress, before Roe v.Wade was decided," Scalia wrote in his dissent in Casey.

Ginsburg’s latest comments do not mean she has at all softened on her abortion positions. She also made it clear she believes abortion is a right the government should protect.

“When the court said the government doesn't have to provide abortion to poor women, it was a decision that is inexplicable to me," Ginsburg said. "It was the court saying there's a right to abortion if she can pay for it, but if she's poor, she doesn't have that right."

Steven Ertelt of LifeNews, a pro-life website, concludes that Ginsburg’s desire for a more gradual adoption of abortion rights is cynical.

“So…. ‘accountability’ for the ‘nine unelected justices’ is when you snooker the public by obtaining the verdict you wanted all along, but [you do] so ‘softly,’” Ertelt wrote.