Politics & Government

S.C. gubernatorial candidates Haley, Sheheen oppose abortion

South Carolina voters who support abortion rights have no choice in November's gubernatorial election.

For the first time in recent history both the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor are anti-choice.

Lexington state Rep. Nikki Haley, the Republican nominee, and state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee, sparred lightly over the abortion issue recently. But there is plenty of agreement between Haley and Sheheen over abortion.

A third candidate, Morgan Reeves of the Green and United Citizens parties, is undecided on the issue.

While the state's stagnant economy remains the top issue, the lack of choice in candidates coupled with new abortion restrictions signed into law this year are upsetting abortion rights voters.

"I'm very disappointed, and it makes me very, very nervous about the future," said Katherine Giles, an abortion rights voter in Charleston. "Women are half the population. If (politicians) are so willing to throw away our reproductive rights, what next will they say that women don't have the intellect to make a decision about?"

Giles, a Democratic-leaning voter, said she has yet to decide which gubernatorial candidate to vote for and hopes the winner will shift the debate from abortion to making birth control more affordable and giving students comprehensive sex education.

"Those are the issues we want them discussing," Giles said, adding that it's government interference for lawmakers to limit abortion access. "I don't see how a woman's reproductive choices is a politician's business."

But anti-choice voters like Lisa Van Riper, president of S.C. Citizens for Life, a nonprofit that works to end abortions, said that it's a good omen that both gubernatorial candidates oppose abortion and she believes it could be the start of a political trend.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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