GOP “Chipping Away” At Abortion Rights? Another Phrase Concealing Truth

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Michael Matthew Bloomer, June 13, 2013

“But  unlike in recent years when the thrust of legislative activity was on  regulating abortion
(e.g., requirements that women undergo an ultrasound, clinic  regulations or insurance coverage restrictions),
legislators in several states  this year [2013] seem instead to be focusing on banning abortion outright,
either by  declaring that personhood begins at the moment of conception or
by prohibiting  abortion even during the first trimester of pregnancy.”

Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights:
Trends in the First Quarter of 2013
Guttmacher Institute
(Also see, Laws Affecting Reproductive Health and Rights:
             2012 State Policy Review

Media reports often alert us of a Republican effort to “chip away” at abortion rights. That “chip away” metaphor cannot survive the facts, particularly at the state level wherever the GOP controls the legislature and governorship. As the Guttmacher Institute reports cited above reveal, in those virulently anti-abortion state legislatures, abortion rights have been systematically “chipped away” in the same sense that the image below represents “chipping away”:

GOP 'chipping away' at abortion rights

We need to remind ourselves of this when we encounter issues framed with terms incompatible with the reality since, in many cases, framing short circuits thought. And that knowledge of human nature has driven GOP political and public communication strategy for decades . . .

Check out the Guttmacher Institute reports cited above . . .

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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at

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