Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate facing uphill odds against Donald Trump to become the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee, stated on Sunday that she was fully supportive of a nationwide abortion ban.
Haley, a former United Nations ambassador in the Trump administration who previously served as governor of South Carolina, has tried to portray herself in town halls, debates and other appearances as a “moderate” choice for Republicans. However, although she opposes her former boss’s false claims of election fraud in the 2020 election, her record is decidedly much further to the right than she admits.
During an appearance on Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Haley admitted her views on abortion differ from most Americans.
Haley at first tried to sidestep the issue, claiming that the question was trying to put “fear and judgment” into the American people.
“Yes, I’m unapologetically pro-life. … I am fine with a federal law [banning abortion],” Haley added.
Her comments on Sunday contradicted previous statements she made on the campaign trail. In December, for example, when asked about the issue during a town hall in New Hampshire, Haley said the issue of abortion should be up to individuals, rather than the government.
“I think abortion is personal for every woman and man in America, and it needs to be treated that way,” she said.
But at other points in the past year, she’s supported a more restrictive approach, even saying she would have signed a six-week ban on abortion into law if she were still governor.
While human rights, including reproductive rights, shouldn’t be put to a vote, polling has demonstrated that most Americans reject Haley’s views. An Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs poll this past summer found that 73 percent of voters disagreed with a six-week abortion ban. Around that same time, a Gallup poll found that 34 percent of Americans believed the procedure should be legal in all circumstances, with an additional 51 percent saying that abortion should be legal in some circumstances. Only 13 percent wanted the procedure banned outright, according to the survey. Sixty-one percent of respondents in that poll also described the overturn of Roe v. Wade (the landmark Supreme Court decision that had protected abortion rights at the federal level up until 2022) as a negative development.
Haley’s comments came one day before what would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe. While she has tried to walk a thin line on the issue of abortion to appease both moderates and hardline conservatives in the primaries, the likely Democratic nominee, President Joe Biden, has embraced abortion as an issue that can help him win in November.
Over the weekend, the Biden campaign released an abortion rights ad that featured a Texas OBGYN named Austin Dennard, who explained why she needed an abortion two years ago.
“I became pregnant with a baby I desperately wanted. At a routine ultrasound, I learned that the fetus would have a fatal condition and that there was absolutely no chance of survival,” Dennard says during the ad.
“In Texas, you are forced to carry that pregnancy. And that is because of Donald Trump overturning Roe v. Wade,” Dennard added, referring to the fact that Trump appointed three conservative justices who tilted the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court to the far right.
Biden also released a presidential statement about Roe’s anniversary, acknowledging that, as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2022, millions of people “now live in states with extreme and dangerous abortion bans.”
Biden also pointed out that Republicans continue to push for restrictions in places across the U.S. where access to abortion is still legal and not heavily restricted.
“Even as Americans — from Ohio to Kentucky to Michigan to Kansas to California — have resoundingly rejected attempts to limit reproductive freedom, Republican elected officials continue to push for a national ban and devastating new restrictions across the country,” Biden said, adding that he stood “with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose, and continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe in federal law once and for all.”
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