Nikki Haley Pledges to Find 'National Consensus' on Abortion

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has pledged to find a “national consensus” on the issue of abortion as she flexed her pro-life credentials at a meeting of one of the country’s largest anti-abortion groups.


While delivering her address at the headquarters of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Haley blamed the media for having “stoked division” on the issue but also spoke of the need to find a “national consensus” on the issue.

She explained:

The next president must find national consensus. That might sound strange to many people. Under Roe, consensus was replaced by demonization, and let’s be honest: most in the media prioritized demonization. They stoked division, pitting Americans against each other. No one talks about finding consensus, everyone goes to the barricades and attacks the other side. They’ve taken a sensitive issue that has long divided people into a kind of gotcha bidding war. How many weeks are you for? How many exceptions are you for?

Abortion is expected to play a significant role in next year’s Republican primaries and the wider presidential race, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court last year. Some conservative strategists have blamed the GOP’s disappointing performance in the 2022 midterms on the issue and warned that it may also play an important role in Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

Haley, meanwhile, went on to take a concilatory tone on the issue:


These questions miss the point if the goal is about saving as many lives as possible. You don’t save any lives if you can’t enact your position into law, and you can’t do that unless you find consensus.”

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

The 51-year-old former Governor of South Carolina added that she would support some federal restrictions on abortion law but would stop short of banning it entirely. “I do believe there is a federal role on abortion,” she said, but admitted that no Republican president should have the “ability to ban abortion nationwide.”

Haley’s comments come at a time when former President Donald Trump, who remains the clear frontrunner for the 2024 nomination, has expressed concern about the electoral consequences of abortion bans.

In a statement provided to the Washington Post last week, a Trump spokesperson said that he “believes that the Supreme Court, led by the three Justices which he supported, got it right when they ruled this is an issue that should be decided at the State level.”


This position was heavily criticized by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which supports a federal abortion ban, as “morally indefensible.”

“President Trump’s assertion that the Supreme Court returned the issue of abortion solely to the states is a completely inaccurate reading of the Dobbs decision and is a morally indefensible position for a self-proclaimed pro-life presidential candidate to hold,” SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement last week.

“Life is a matter of human rights, not states’ rights,” she continued. “Saying that the issue should only be decided at the states is an endorsement of abortion up until the moment of birth, even brutal late-term abortions in states like California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey.”


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