Election 2024

Spineless Nikki Haley walks back her support for Alabama’s anti-IVF ruling

New,York,,Ny,-,Sept,20,,2018:,Ambassador,Nikki,Haley, republican presidential candidate
Nikki Haley Photo: Shutterstock

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is walking back recent comments on her belief that embryos are babies in the wake of a contentious Alabama Supreme Court ruling granting embryos the same legal rights as children.

In an appearance on NBC News, Haley was asked directly about whether she agreed with the Alabama ruling. Her response: “Embryos, to me, are babies.”

She shared that she went through artificial insemination (also known as intrauterine insemination, or IUI) to have her son. That process does not involve the creation of embryos outside the uterus but rather involves injecting sperm into someone who is ovulating.

“One thing is to save sperm or to save eggs,” Haley continued, “but when you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that.”

When pressed about the consequences of the court’s decision on folks experiencing infertility, Haley gave a vague response about the need for people to have these conversations with their doctors.

“This is one where we need to be incredibly respectful and sensitive about it,” she said, saying that patients need to understand everything they “are looking at” and then can make the decision that’s best for their family – something that doesn’t quite make sense if the law has already made the decision for them.

She also said details matter, and she wants to understand how the ruling treats viable versus nonviable embryos.

Just hours later, Haley convoluted her argument even more during an appearance on CNN.

“I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling,” she said. “The question that I was asked is, do I believe an embryo is a baby.” She emphasized again that she thinks an embryo should be considered an unborn baby.

“The difference is, and this is what I say about abortion as well, we need to treat these issues with the utmost respect… I am very aware of what it means to go through artificial insemination… and I also know the importance between a doctor and the parents is very important to have those conversations.”

“This case was based on and should be based on the rights of those parents for their embryos,” she continued, “and to make sure that they had the responsibility with the doctors on how those are handled. Nothing more than that.”

“Our goal is to always do what the parents want with their embryo. It is theirs.”

Of course, this philosophy contradicts the Alabama court’s decision that means destroying an embryo could be considered homicide, which would prevent parents from making their own decisions.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling declared that state laws protecting “unborn children” also apply to those “located outside of a biological uterus.” As stated above, this means that doctors who mishandle embryos or make a mistake that leads one to be destroyed could be charged with murder.

This means LGBTQ+ couples, single folks, and those struggling with infertility in the state will lose access to the most common method of assisted reproduction. Some Alabama fertility clinics have already halted IVF services for fear of repercussions.

The court’s ruling was the result of two cases in which three couples sued after their embryos were accidentally destroyed when a patient at the hospital where the embryos were stored entered the room through an “unsecured doorway,” according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs, whom the court refers to as the “parents of several embryonic children,” claimed the fertility clinic violated the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

The judges also seem unconcerned with keeping religion out of the law, invoking several references to Christianity and God in its explanation.

And as pro-choice activists feared, anti-abortion groups are already using the ruling to advocate for similar policies in other states.

“This is exactly what we have been fearful of and worried about where it was heading,” Barbara Collura, CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, told USA Today in response to Alabama’s ruling. “We are extremely concerned that this is now going to happen in other states.”

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