January 14, 2014
For years, the anti-abortion rights movement has focused on advancing their cause at the state level, electing state officials supportive of their views on reproductive rights and passing state and local laws.
That strategy has clearly paid off: Currently, there are just seven states with governments dominated by pro-abortion rights lawmakers. By contrast, there are 21 where both the governor and a majority of the state legislature are opposed to abortion rights, according to an assessment from the group NARAL Pro-Choice America. In 2013, there were 53 measures passed at the state level that NARAL characterizes as “anti-choice,” and just 16 it calls pro-choice.
The conservative movement’s bold strategy has tested the bounds of the Supreme Court’s past rulings on abortion restrictions, and it has left abortion rights supporters playing defense. But this midterm election year, NARAL president Ilyse Hogue told reporters Tuesday, her organization plans on taking a page from its opponents’ playbook — it is shifting its focus from federal elections to gubernatorial and state legislative races.