Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley is defending comments she made at the last GOP debate about finding common ground on abortion.
At the Nov. 8 debate in Miami, Haley reiterated her stance that passing a national measure would be unrealistic under today’s divided Congress. Instead, she said she would push for shared stances such as banning late-term abortion, not forcing doctors against abortion to perform them and not jailing women who receive them.
At the FAMiLY Leader Thanksgiving Forum on Friday, CEO Bob Vander Plaats said Haley’s remarks sounded pro-choice and voiced voters concerns that she isn’t as “apologetically pro-life” as she claims to be.
Haley, who was on the same stage, defended herself and said that, “What you heard me say at the debate was very much my truth.”
“I am unapologetically pro-life,” she said as she sat next to fellow Republican presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis. “But it is important that we remember what’s our overall goal … how do we save as many babies as possible and support as many moms as we can?”
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Nikki Haley says her record on abortion speaks for itself
Haley said she has a strong anti-abortion record from when she was South Carolina’s governor, signing a 20-week abortion ban and requiring women to receive information on free ultrasound providers before making a decision. She also she built a reputation as the most anti-abortion United Nations ambassador to represent the U.S.
Haley reiterated that a federal abortion ban would be impossible without the majority of the house, 60 Senate votes and the signature of the president.
“If we’re focused on how do we save as many babies as possible, then let’s come together and say, ‘What can we do?'” Haley said. “If we’re going to have this conversation about the federal law, we do need to tell people the truth, because it is causing division and demonizing an issue that’s incredibly personal to every woman and every man”
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Joe Biden, Kamala Harris respond to Haley’s abortion comments
The Biden-Harris 2024 campaign release a statement on Friday saying that Haley is no different from other GOP candidates pushing a “dangerous anti-freedom agenda” when it comes to abortion.
“Nikki Haley is no moderate – she’s an anti-abortion MAGA extremist who wants to rip away women’s freedoms just like she did when she was South Carolina governor,” Rapid Response Director Ammar Moussa said in a news release. “Now Haley is promising to bring that same fear, anxiety, and dread she forced on South Carolina women to every woman in the country.”
At this month’s debate, Haley said she would sign any anti-abortion measure that can get 60 Senate votes but doesn’t want to mislead Americans into thinking they can push something without it.
Haley holds the second spot in the GOP primary race behind former President Donald Trump, according to a new poll conducted by CNN and the University of New Hampshire.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nikki Haley defends debate remarks on abortion after GOP scrutiny