NASHVILLE, AUG. 8 -- North Dakota state Rep. Kelly Shockman (D) has seven daughters and is opposed to abortion. He is also pretty unhappy that he has to talk about abortion at all.

"I really resent the fact that the Supreme Court dumped this whole issue back on the states," he said bitterly. Two hundred of his colleagues applauded.

The 7,000 state legislators, staff members and legislative service providers gathered here this week for the National Conference of State Legislatures annual summer meeting are sharing many of their frustrations on issues from Medicaid funding to negative campaigning.

On two of the hottest issues -- the savings and loan cleanup and abortion -- the lawmakers made it clear that they were unhappy to be saddled with political problems created by others.

"We're told we can't legislate morality and ethics," said Texas state Rep. Jerald Larry (D) during a session on the savings and loans. "How the hell do you regulate a problem like this?"

During the discussion on abortion, legislators from Louisiana, Maryland and Minnesota who have recently struggled over reinterpretations of abortion regulations in their states advised other lawmakers on how best to handle the dispute.

"Figure out your position and stick to it," said Louisiana state Sen. Larry Bankston (D), who voted against two successive efforts to drastically limit abortion in his state. "Because you will find out the wrath of God will come on both sides."

More than 100 abortion-related bills were proposed in 44 state legislatures this year, most designed to limit or abolish abortion. This flurry of activity was set off by the Supreme's Court's Webster decision last year that allowed states to enact new restrictions on abortion.

"The vast majority of legislators don't want to deal with the issue," said Missouri state Sen. John D. Schneider (D), who believes that a woman should have the right to abortion, but not at government expense. "They want to stay away from it. That's a political fact."

Just as abortion has become a political problem for lawmakers this year, so too has the thrift crisis. The Republican National Committee, joining in a White House-coordinated strategy to shift the discussion of the S&L problems to Democratic culpability and successful Republican enforcement, aimed two days of newspaper advertising at the state officials meeting here.

A paid advertisement in Tuesday's Nashville Tennessean declared, "President Bush is slamming the door on the S&L crooks." In today's editions, a similar ad headlined "President Bush sent these S&L crooks to the Big House" showed mug shot-type photographs of three former thrift executives who have been sentenced for S&L-related crimes.

Beneath the three mug shots the ad displayed photographs of four Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Frank Annunzio (Ill.) and Stephen L. Neal (N.C.) and Sens. Alan Cranston (Calif.) and Donald W. Riegle Jr. (Mich.). All are accused of blocking thrift reform or accepting contibutions from risky thrifts.

Delegates, however, showed little patience for this approach. "We all ought to lobby the heck out of {Congress} to quit burning up energy on who is responsible for the mess, and start concentrating on the long-term funding of a workout for the industry," Illionois banking commissioner William Harris said.