South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is clearly on a roll when it comes to health care. Three weeks ago, she vetoed an HPV vaccine bill, despite bipartisan support in the state legislature, and despite the fact that the proposal would save lives by preventing cervical cancer. Soon after, the Republican governor vowed to kill Medicaid expansion in her state.
Annie-Rose Strasser highlighted Haley’s latest antics yesterday.
Haley defended the veto, according to theCharleston City Paper, saying that rape and sexual assault prevention programs “distract from” the Department of Health’s mission, and that sexual assault victims are “only a small portion” of South Carolinians who need help.
No, seriously, that’s what she said. Haley characterized rape and sexual assault prevention programs as “special add-on” programs that shift the state’s focus away from the health department’s “broader mission of protecting South Carolina’s public health.”
Rebecca Schoenkopf’s report noted, “[T]he State Law Enforcement Division reports that South Carolina’s rape rate has exceeded the national rate every year since 1982.” Pamela Jacobs, executive director of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, added that if Haley’s veto isn’t overridden, rape crisis centers will lose 37% of their current state funding, “which will drastically reduce their ability to respond to victims and provide prevention education.”
If this is part of some scheme to help the governor advance her national ambitions, Nikki Haley must not think highly of the value of Republican primary voters.