Given multiple national polls showing that people do not support abortion, it remains an issue, and it remains an issue that the GOP does not handle well.
I remember watching the VP debate between Biden and Ryan, and being hugely disappointed in how Ryan handled the abortion question. If I may paraphrase Ryan's answer in general terms, he stressed how important his faith was in coming to his pro-life position. Biden then rambled on about how much he supports a woman's right to choose. The net result is that Biden generally came across as a rational, compassionate, caring sort; which is not what he is at all, while the impression of Ryan that the underinformed voters ultimately got was that he would be the sort of person who might just be capable of supporting any position informed by his religious views.
Of course, senate candidates Akin and Mourdock also had cringe-worthy comments on the abortion issue as well. Arguably, poor handling of women's issues cost the GOP two senate seats and possibly the presidency. So what's the problem? Why does the GOP insist upon conveying the most important message of civilized society, the message that every life is valuable, in such consistently inarticulate fashion? What kind of an approach would serve to neutralize the issue at the voting booth, and bring election results in line with national polls on the matter?
Well, as to why the GOP is so incompetent at communicating the value of life, I'm not really sure. They certainly know it's an issue that will be raised by Democratic candidates and the progressive, state-run media. They certainly have the time and resources to prepare for it. Honestly, I have no idea why the GOP can't positively deliver the pro-life message, but I do know what their message should be.