According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, 42 anti-abortion measures were enacted in the states in 2012 – including bans on abortion after 20 weeks, bans on state funding for Planned Parenthood, and ultrasound requirements for those seeking abortions. By contrast, only eight measures supporting abortion rights were enacted.
Some of those anti-abortion measures received a lot of national media attention – you may recall the furious discussions last spring of "transvaginal probes," an ultrasound method originally considered as part of Virginia's new law, though that requirement was ultimately discarded in favor of less-invasive methods.
Less widely discussed, but perhaps even more striking, is the diminishing number of abortion clinics now operating in many states. At least four states are down to just a single clinic, and Mississippi could soon become the first state with no abortion provider at all.
Taken together, these state-level victories for the anti-abortion side, and the heavy publicity they received during the 2012 campaign cycle, may have actually undercut support for overturning Roe v. Wade, by giving those who saw themselves as in the middle on the issue – perhaps wanting some restrictions on abortion, but not an outright ban – a sense that things had gone far enough. And for those already supporting abortion rights, but in a lukewarm kind of way, it may have constituted a wake-up call.
Last month, when NARAL's president, Nancy Keenan, announced that she was stepping down, she specifically cited the need to bring more young women into the movement, saying that while the so-called "Millennial generation" tends to be pro-choice, abortion "isn't on the top of their list of issues that they're concerned about." Keenan specifically cited an "intensity gap," with the minority that opposes abortion much more likely to see it as a "very important" issue.