For more than thirty years, opposition to legal abortion has nourished right-wing politics at the grassroots. The right, you see, never got the memo about abortion being a trivial "cultural" issue, or the one about how a strong uncompromising position would alienate potential recruits. Liberals got those memos. Liberals got other ones too, and not just on abortion: Don't bother with small rural conservative states. Build big top-down Beltway organizations that don't give members much to do except send money and e-mail their Representatives. Focus on the national picture--the White House, Congress and, above all, the courts.
You go, Katha Pollitt.
The New York Times should hire her now, in spite of its quota of one female op-ed columnist for every seven males.