Nikki Haley Calls for ‘National Consensus’ on Abortion

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has pledged to make finding a national consensus on the divisive issue of abortion her goal if elected president in 2024.

Haley made the promise on Tuesday while giving a speech hosted by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List in Arlington, Virginia.

“I want to save as many lives and help as many moms as possible—that is my goal,” she said. “To do that at the federal level, the next president must find national consensus.”

Haley, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, noted that she is unapologetically pro-life “not because the Republican Party tells me to be, but for very personal reasons.”

“My husband is reason No. 1 that I stand for life,” Haley shared. “Every day that I get to spend with the love of my life reminds me that I am blessed that someone saved his life.”

The former United Nations ambassador revealed that her husband had been born into an impoverished and broken home, where his birth father was “in and out of prison” and his birth mother had suffered a traumatic brain injury.

When he was very young, Haley’s husband and his siblings were removed from their biological parents’ home, and later, they were placed into foster care.

“Thankfully, when he was 4 years old, a loving family adopted Michael and his younger sister,” she said. “It changed their lives. Adoption literally saved them.”

The other reason Haley cited for her pro-life stance was the fact that she had personally struggled to conceive children, only succeeding after “countless” fertility treatments.

“I believe every life is a blessing from God,” she said. “My heart hurts when someone decides not to go through with a pregnancy.”

Finding Consensus

Citing her pro-life record as a South Carolina state legislator, governor, and U.N. ambassador, Haley said she aimed to bridge the deep political divide on abortion and start a “constructive conversation” to find a national consensus.

“Abortion is a deeply personal topic for both women and men,” she noted. “I understand why. Someone’s body and someone else’s life are not things to be taken lightly, and they should not be politicized. The issue should be addressed with sensitivity and respect, not judgment and hate.”

In the months since the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that abortion is not a constitutional right, the matter has continued to spark national debate, protests, and in some cases, violence, and criminal activity.

For example, last month, a New York pregnancy center that was severely damaged in an arson attack last June was vandalized again with pro-abortion graffiti.

Haley, in her Tuesday remarks, said pro-life politicians needed to be more vocal in their condemnation of such attacks, as should President Joe Biden.

“President Biden has done nothing to discourage it,” she asserted. “In fact, he promotes it. That’s not leadership. It’s more partisanship of the worst kind.”

And the media, she noted, is no better.

“Let’s be honest: Most in the media prioritize demonization,” she said. “They stoke division, pitting Americans against each other. No one talks about finding consensus. Everyone goes to the barricades and attacks the other side. They’ve turned a sensitive issue that has long divided people into a kind of ‘gotcha’ bidding war.”

Holding that the Supreme Court had been right in its decision to return the decision-making on abortion back to the states, the former governor emphasized that the nation must now shift its focus toward finding common ground and abandon the practice of demonizing the other side.

“Reaching consensus starts with humanizing, not demonizing,” she said. “Just like I have my story, I respect everyone who has their story. I don’t judge someone who is pro-choice any more than I want them to judge me for being pro-life.”

Calling on both sides of the abortion argument to move closer to a place of compromise, Haley stressed that there were many aspects of the issue that most people already agree upon—like that the lives of babies born alive after failed abortions should be protected, and that the availability of abortion up until birth is “a bridge too far.”

“And we can all agree that women who get abortions should not be jailed,” she added. “A few have even called for the death penalty. That’s the least pro-life position I can imagine.”

Most important, she noted, was that both sides acknowledge each other’s humanity.

“We’re not just talking about policy here—we’re talking about people. That’s often lost in this debate, on the left and the right, but it’s front of mind for me. I acknowledge the humanity of both the unborn baby and the pregnant mom.”

Presidential Role

Although the presidency does not afford the power to make sweeping decisions on the legality of abortion, Haley said the nation’s executive still has a role to play in steering the conversation.

“We need a president who unites Americans and brings out the best in them, even on the toughest subjects,” she noted. “That will be my approach as president.”

And it’s a feat Haley said she had achieved before as governor when, in 2015, a mass shooter killed nine black churchgoers during Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The tragedy sparked intense debate across the state over the Confederate flag that flew outside the South Carolina State House.

Haley, acknowledging the divisions over the issue, said she led efforts to find bipartisan consensus on the matter, which resulted in the flag’s removal.

Vowing to do the same on the issue of abortion, she stressed that it was time for the country to come together in the spirit of compromise.

“Let’s discuss [abortion] in a way that allows Americans to show love for one another, not judgment or contempt,” she said. “And let’s find a consensus that allows us to save as many babies as we can while supporting women in difficult situations.

“I’m ready for the hard work that lies ahead,” she added. “And I’m confident we can move forward together toward our founding promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.”

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.