Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called on Republicans to stop short of giving women the “death penalty” for abortions.
At a campaign stop in South Carolina on Monday, Haley was asked if she made a mistake by calling for a federal ban on abortions without specifics.
“In South Carolina and elsewhere, people on both sides of the aisle, they, they deal with weeks, they want hard, firm weeks,” a moderator told Haley. “Was that a misfire on your part?”
Haley insisted she had not made a mistake.
“I mean, no offense, but the fellas don’t know how to talk about this, and they just don’t,” the candidate opined. “The issue of abortion is incredibly personal to every woman and every man, and it requires respect.”
“I am unapologetically pro-life, not because the Republican Party tells me to be, but because my husband was adopted, and I had trouble having both of my children,” she continued. “And I think that there is a place for a federal law, but they need to tell the American people the truth on how you get there.”
Haley acknowledged that Republicans could not get 60 votes in the Senate to pass a strict federal abortion ban.
“So what should we do? I think we find consensus. Can’t we agree to ban late-term abortions?” she asked. “And can’t we agree that no state law should say to a woman that if she has an abortion, she’s going to jail or get the death penalty.”
“I will not be a part of demonizing this issue,” she added. “I think that I’ve watched Democrats, they have put fear in women. And I’ve watched Republicans use judgment. There’s no place for fear or judgment when you’re talking about something this personal and this sensitive.”
Haley has said she would have signed a six-week abortion ban as governor of South Carolina.