Nikki Haley and the fight for reproductive rights

Here is what Nikki Haley’s pro-life stance could mean for reproductive rights across the nation.


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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley opposes abortion.

Noel Sassoon, Deputy Opinions Editor

In early February, Nikki Haley, a Republican who formerly served as the governor of South Carolina, announced that she will be running for president in the upcoming 2024 election. According to the New Yorker, Haley is the “first Republican to challenge Trump in next year’s primary.” 

One of the policies that Haley advocated for as governor — and one that she still advocates for now — is a pro-life agenda that would make abortion illegal. As someone who is a firm advocate for reproductive rights, I found Haley’s position on abortion to be particularly alarming as outlawing abortion strips women of their bodily autonomy and could drastically impact access to contraceptives such as birth control. 


While serving as governor in 2016, Haley signed a law that banned abortion for women after 19 weeks of pregnancy, with the only exception being if the mother’s life is in danger. According to CNN, the law did not provide exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Furthermore, any physician who performed the procedure would be subject to a maximum sentence of three years in prison in addition to a fine. 

In a recent 2023 interview with Today, Haley did express that she does not support a full-on federal ban as it does not appear to be a feasible option at this point in time. Additionally, Haley stated that she believes a consensus is needed in order to decide at what stage in gestation abortion should no longer be an option. This article also dives into the reasoning behind Haley’s pro-life stance. Haley is pro-life because her husband was adopted and the two had difficulty conceiving their two children, which made her deeply value children and family in general. 

“This is not a partisan thing,” Haley said, as reported by NBC. “It’s not a man or a woman thing. I appreciate life and I’m forever blessed for those things in my life.”  


Haley’s view on abortion is one that is shared amongst many Americans. In a poll conducted by Pew Research Center in 2022, 37% of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. This is a belief that is also shared amongst many students at Biola, who believe that an unborn child’s right to life supersedes a woman’s right to choose whether to go through with a pregnancy. 

Junior Bible major Faith Jean Weber recounted her three years of experience working as a volunteer at Assure Pregnancy Clinic, a place that provides resources for expectant mothers and families. 

“Women would come into the clinic and I would get to just have conversations with them,” Weber said. “We wanted to be a place where women could feel like they had hope, that they had other options.”  

When asked about why she was pro-life, Weber said that her beliefs are heavily influenced by science. 

“The science is very, very clear,” Weber said. “I have yet to find a medical journal or scientific journal that has yet to find life beginning at any point other than when the sperm and the egg join.” 

Aimee Asch, a music major at Biola, also shared her perspective on why she is pro-life. 

“I am pro-life because I have a fundamental belief that every person is created in the image of God, and that therefore their life is valuable,” Asch said. “I would love to live to see a day where everyone recognizes the intrinsic value of every human life, and therefore the idea of abortion is unimaginable.”   


According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, reproductive rights are “important to women’s socioeconomic well-being and overall health.” Women deserve to have bodily autonomy and should be able to reserve the right to decide whether or not they want to give birth or raise a child. Furthermore, the Institute of Women’s Policy Research cites studies that show that a woman’s quality of life increases when she is free to make her own reproductive decisions.  

It is evident that Nikki Haley was, and still is, a pro-life advocate who will likely carry her desire to limit abortions with her into the presidency should she be elected. Based on the above analysis of Nikki Haley’s stances and claims, I do think that abortion rights will be jeopardized should she take office. I am concerned that Haley’s policies may impact reproductive rights as a whole, which includes birth control and contraceptives.

Following the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, Wendy Parmet, the director of the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University, stated in an NBC News article that “the states that are trying to limit abortion from the moment of conception — not even from the moment of pregnancy, as the medical profession would define it — could well try to challenge Plan B, emergency contraception, potentially even IUDs.” 

In addition to there being a fair number of students who advocate for an abortion ban, there are also students — including myself — who are concerned about an infringement on reproductive rights and an abortion ban on a federal scale. Rachel Sunu, a senior cinema and media arts student, shared her thoughts on the matter. 

“I am concerned for women who are sexually active or have been sexually abused,” Sunu stated. “I think the government is sending a very mixed message with the abortion ban. If the government doesn’t want women to have abortions, then they need to increase contraceptives and birth control access. Until the government can provide contraceptives to women in all classes, then an abortion ban is not reasonable.”  

Women are not incubators; women are human beings who deserve the right to choose whether or not they will endure childbirth. Furthermore, women have the legal and moral right to birth control, which not only prevents conception but also provides relief for women who struggle with women’s health issues such as endometriosis. Should Haley become president, these rights will be put in jeopardy, and so will the safety and well-being of the women whose reproductive rights deserve to be protected. 

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