Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Downplays Federal Abortion Ban – Nikki Haley, the ex-governor of South Carolina who is competing for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has chosen not to support a federal abortion ban, unlike some of her fellow potential Republican contenders. She expressed her view that making a commitment to such a broad prohibition on abortion would be dishonest to the American public.
During an interview with CBS News’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Haley suggested that states should be responsible for establishing their own restrictions on abortion. “There are some states that have been pro-life – I welcome that,” she said. “There are some states that have erred on the side of abortion – I wish that wasn’t the case. We need to make sure that people’s voices are heard.”
Nikki Haley, aged 51, is known for being a member of the anti-abortion faction of the Republican party, and her record as South Carolina’s governor confirms it. During her tenure, she enacted a law that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks without exceptions for cases of rape or incest. This law was enforced after the US Supreme Court revoked the right to an abortion across the country in June of last year.
Despite her firm stance on the issue, Haley, who is now running for the Republican presidential nomination, is attempting to distance herself from advocating for a federal abortion ban. The party’s poor showing in the midterm elections last November was widely attributed to its messaging on abortion, which contradicts the American public’s widespread pro-choice sentiments. On Sunday, Haley, who served as the United States’ ambassador to the UN during Donald Trump’s presidency, cited the filibuster in the US Senate as the reason for her reluctance to back a federal ban.
According to its terms, a ban of this kind would require 60 votes in favor to be enacted, which is unlikely since Republicans are currently two seats short of the majority in the 100-member Senate. “We have to tell the American people the truth,” she said. “In order to do a national standard, you’d have to have a majority of the House, 60 Senate votes and a president. We haven’t had 60 pro-life senators in 100 years.” She added: “So the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people.”
Nikki Haley’s two-sided stance on abortion, opposing it at the state level while being ambivalent about it at the national level, will play a significant role in shaping her interactions with her Republican rivals. Currently, there are four Republican candidates, including Haley, who have formally declared their candidacy for the presidency, with several others expected to follow. Haley started her campaign in February, positioning herself as a president for a “new generation.”
However, she has faced difficulties gaining traction so far, primarily due to low public recognition and a mere 4.2% support in the Real Clear Politics polling average. Other Republican hopefuls are also wrestling with the abortion issue. In his fractious CNN town hall last week, Trump repeatedly declined to answer whether he would support a federal abortion ban, offering only such bland statements as: “President Trump is going to make a determination what he thinks is great for the country and what’s fair for the country.”
Nikki Haley remains extremely cautious when it comes to dealing with Donald Trump, who is still the leading Republican contender. When asked by Face the Nation to provide her thoughts on Trump being found guilty of sexually assaulting E Jean Carroll last week, Haley hesitated to give a direct response. “There’s a verdict and I think there’s been an appeal, and I think the American people need to make their decision based on that,” she said.
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Tim Scott, a Republican senator from South Carolina who is considering a presidential run, has endorsed a federal abortion ban at 20 weeks. Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida, who spent the weekend in Iowa, a crucial early-voting state, in preparation for a possible presidential campaign, has also aligned himself with the anti-abortion hardliners.
In April, DeSantis signed an extreme abortion ban into Florida law that takes effect at six weeks, which is before many women even realize they are pregnant. As both Haley and DeSantis trail far behind Trump in the polls, they have been engaging in increasingly intense exchanges in recent weeks. Haley has taunted the Florida governor over his feud with Disney, referring to him as “thin-skinned” and inviting the entertainment behemoth to relocate Disney World to South Carolina.