Most news coverage of abortion-related issues tends to focus on developments at the federal level. Judicial nominees, federal legislation, and Supreme Court decisions constitute a large percentage of abortion-related coverage. However, this past weekend, the CBS evening news ran a segment about the substantial gains that pro-lifers are making at the state level.
The segment discusses a recent Guttmacher report which found that 2011 and 2012 were record-setting years in terms of the amount of state-level pro-life legislation that was enacted. Since 2010, 32 states have enacted over 100 pro-life laws. The segment credits gains in pro-life sentiment, citing the May 2012 Gallup poll which showed that people were more likely to identify as “pro-life” rather than pro-choice by a 50 to 41 margin. It also mentions the work of pro-life groups. Susan Muskett, senior legislative counsel for National Right to Life Committee, makes an appearance to discuss pro-life progress in the states.
Obviously there are aspects of this segment that are worthy of criticism. The pro-life laws are referred to as “restrictive” laws rather than “protective” laws. CBS mentions efforts in Texas to withhold funds from Planned Parenthood. However, it does not give the whole story — failing to mention the numerous scandals and controversies involving Planned Parenthood. Still, the fact that the network is devoting precious time to pro-life gains in the states is good evidence of the impact the pro-life movement has had over the past few years.