Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, called for “consensus” on abortion policy during a Thursday speaking engagement.
The former South Carolina governor said “the fellas” have been “demonizing” abortion for “too long” during an appearance at the Rotary Club luncheon at the Portsmouth Country Club in New Hampshire on Thursday.
“It is time that we start treating it like the sensitive topic that it is,” Haley said. “I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican Party tells me to be but because my husband is adopted and I had trouble having both of my children.”
Haley said she is surrounded by blessings though noted the topic of abortion was “personal” for men and women.
“I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice any more than I want you to judge me for being pro-life,” she said.
Haley said she believed there was a place for federal restrictions on abortion, though conceded a national abortion ban was “highly unlikely.”
The former South Carolina governor said passing any kind of federal ban on abortion would require a minimum of 60 votes in the Senate and noted Republicans have not had a supermajority in over 100 years.
“We might have 45 pro-life senators. So no Republican president can ban abortion any more than a Democrat president can ban these state laws,” she said. “Why don’t we just find consensus?”
Haley questioned if Republicans and Democrats could agree against late-term abortions and in favor of encouraging “better quality” adoptions.
“Can’t we agree that doctors and nurses who don’t believe in abortion shouldn’t have to perform them? Can’t we agree that contraception should be accessible?” she asked. “And can’t we agree that no state law should say that any woman who’s had an abortion can go to jail or get the death penalty? Let’s just start there.”
“We have to humanize this issue,” she asserted. “I am not going to be part of demonizing this issue, it’s too personal to everyone. And the fellas have done that for too long. No offense.”
Haley reiterated she believed abortion should be treated “like the sensitive topic that it is,” referencing a previous roommate who was raped in college.
“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone to see what she went through wondering if she was pregnant,” she said. “Everybody’s got a story. And every person’s story needs to be respected.”
“We’re going to make it about how do we save as many babies as we can and support as many moms as we can,” she concluded. “That’s the conversation I choose to have when it comes to pro-life and abortion.”