Conventional wisdom blames the GOP's gender gape on the party's opposition to abortion, but Ramesh Ponnuru points out that there's very little empirical basis for the link.
.... there hasn’t generally been a large gap between men and women on the “pro-life” vs. “pro-choice” question. In 2007, they found 46 percent of men and 45 percent of women calling themselves “pro-life.”
In 2011, the numbers were 46 and 44. The most recent data point we have, though, from 2012, does show a bigger gap than usual: 53 percent of men and 46 percent of women identified as “pro-life” in Gallup’s 2012 poll.
(Both men and women were more likely to call themselves “pro-life” than “pro-choice.”) This could, however, be a blip. Check in next year.
For quite awhile, abortion-rights advocates have tried to portray women as monolithic on the issue, because it fits in well with their contention that to be anti-abortion is to be anti-woman.
But as Gallup shows, women are much, much more divided than that on the issue.
There's a wealth of academic literature pointing out that women tend to simply believe in bigger, more comfortable safety nets than men.
That's not an issue -- instead, it's a mindset that informs many issues. The gender gap would still be there without abortion, and it would still be big.