Nikki Haley: Backers Of Abortion Rights Are Forcing Their Values On America

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said that "women are expected to support choice simply because we're women."

Nikki Haley took the stage as the keynote speaker Monday night at an anti-abortion group’s annual gala, saying that allowing women to have autonomy over their bodies “is not real feminism.”

Speaking from the Susan B. Anthony List’s Campaign for Life Gala in Washington, D.C., the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations asserted that groups supporting abortion rights were creating hostility among women and trying to force their values on others.

“Unfortunately, many on the left use the abortion debate to divide women and demand conformity,” she said. “They do this in the name of feminism. But that is not real feminism.”

Reproductive rights groups believe women should have a choice about abortion and not be forced to conform, as Haley put it, with those who have moral objections to the procedure. 

Haley, intentionally or not, reinforced that fundamental ethos of the pro-choice movement in her speech.  

“The idea that women must adhere to a particular set of values is one of the most anti-women ideas in today’s culture,” she said. “It is a rejection of the ideas of equality and tolerance that the women’s movement is supposed to be about.”

The former South Carolina governor’s speech comes as several states have passed highly restrictive abortion legislation, all of which face legal challenges that could make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The most far-reaching of those laws is in Alabama, where Republican Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed a bill making it a felony in the state for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases. Haley herself signed a 20-week limit on abortions while she was governor.

Since leaving the Trump administration at the end of 2018, Haley has served on the board of directors at Boeing and launched a group that pushes for more conservative policies both in the U.S. and internationally.

Sanjana Karanth contributed to this report.