Nikki Haley’s Hypocritical HPV Veto
DIDN’T SHE SPONSOR THIS BILL AS A LAWMAKER?
We don’t necessarily disagree with S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision to veto legislation aimed at providing young girls in South Carolina with free vaccinations against human papillomavirus (HPV).
We don’t think that this is a cost taxpayers should absorb, but the legislation includes an “opt-out” provision for parents who do not wish to have their children vaccinated – thereby removing much of the heartburn we were experiencing as a result of its passage.
However the governor’s veto represents yet another example of her chronic hypocrisy … not to mention her chronic inability to tell the truth.
As a lawmaker, Haley co-sponsored legislation that would have required every eleven-year-old girl in the Palmetto state to receive a vaccination against HPV. In fact Haley refused to take her name off of this controversial bill even after nearly two dozen of her colleagues (Republicans and Democrats) pulled their support in light of its failure to include “opt out” language.
This so-called “Cervical Cancer Prevention Act” was sponsored in 2007 by liberal S.C. Rep. Joan Brady (RINO-Richland). According to legislative records, Haley was one of the first Republican lawmakers to add her name to the bill – doing so on January 17, 2007. In fact her name was still on the bill when it was killed three months later.
The governor, of course, has an explanation for all this … although it involves a fair amount of revisionist history.
“Through the legislative process, it became clear to me that an opt-out provision was not going to be included in the bill and it sought to mandate that middle-school girls obtain a vaccine – and strip parents of the right to make the choice for their daughter,” Haley wrote on her campaign website in 2010. “In light of that turn of events, I voted to kill the bill.”
That’s totally inaccurate, though. Prior to participating in a unanimous vote to table the legislation – Haley voted at least once to kill an amendment that would have added a parental “opt-out” provision to the bill. There was another “off the record” vote offering up similar “opt-out” language – and several lawmakers recall Haley as voting to kill that measure, too.
“Nikki Haley has confirmed everyone’s suspicions that she puts her own selfish political ambitions ahead of the people of South Carolina,” S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers – the legislation’s sponsor – said in a statement responding to Haley’s veto.
Sellers blasted Haley for vetoing a bill “that she once co-sponsored when she was in the House.”
“My bill was completely optional, completely voluntary,” Sellers tells FITS, or “exactly what the governor said she would support.”
In addition to calling Haley a “hypocrite,” Sellers says she’s also being dishonest in calling the legislation an unfunded mandate.
“She’s just looking for red meat target words,” Sellers added. “We’re not asking SCDHEC to do anything until we provide them with the revenue.”
A spokesman for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCHDEC) did not immediately respond to our request for comment regarding Haley’s characterization of the bill.