Nikki Haley On Alabama's IVF Ruling: 'Embryos, To Me, Are Babies'

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is siding with the Alabama Supreme Court’s controversial ruling last week that legally equates embryos with children.

“Embryos, to me, are babies,” the former South Carolina governor said in an interview with NBC News’ Ali Vitali published Wednesday. “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 Vitali asked Haley for her thoughts on the “chilling effect” the decision could have on access to fertility treatments, Haley said it was necessary to “look at the details” in the Alabama ruling and to “continue to have conversations” with women and doctors because it’s a “sensitive” topic. She said she hadn’t seen specifics from Alabama.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, reproductive rights advocateshave warned that fertility treatments could be targeted by anti-abortion conservatives who believe that life begins at conception.

The Alabama Supreme Court’s Friday decision, which was articulated in a ruling that referenced theological language from the state’s constitution, has had a swift impact.

On Wednesday, the University of Alabama at Birmingham became the first IVF clinic to pause its services amid concerns that patients or physicians could face legal trouble.

While Haley has been lauded as a moderate GOP primary presidential candidate, she has also backed and proposed legislation that would restrict reproductive rights, according to December 2023 reporting by NBC News.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) criticized Haley’s take on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.