State after state is passing sweeping abortion restrictions this year, from Alabama's near total abortion ban, to Ohio's ban after a fetal heartbeat is detected, to Utah's ban after a pregnancy reaches 18 weeks. Already, eight states have passed laws that could challenge federal protections for abortion, with more on the way, prompting jubilation on the right and terror on the left.

The laws may appear to present a united front and a coordinated political campaign. Instead they reflect a sustained effort by a network of disparate activists, each with their own strategy honed over decades of work.

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