According to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, the number of restrictions passed by at least one house of a state legislature is down from this time last year, but still way up from the first quarters of years past. (We've requested numbers for 2009, but Guttmacher hasn't yet been able to provide them.) Here's how 2012 compares:
Nine of the 75 restrictions have actually been enacted (the rest have yet to pass another legislative chamber). 944 have been proposed. These include:
• Restrictions in 14 states on when during a pregnancy abortion can be performed.
• Provisions in 11 states requiring an ultrasound before an abortion.
• Restrictions in 11 states on medication abortion.
At least by the numbers, abortion promises to be a much bigger issue in this year's election than it was in 2008 — 2.2 times as big, to be exact.