Gov. Nikki Haley praises U.S. Supreme Court's controversial birth control decision

Nikki Haley

COLUMBIA - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley praised this week's U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that said a family-owned company does not have to offer birth control to its employees.

Haley, a Republican running for re-election and the Palmetto State's first female governor, said the court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case is one in a string of recent decisions that shows that Obama administration initiatives can't be "shoved down people's throats."

"All of these things are starting to have a common theme - a huge overreach from the federal government," Haley said in a Wednesday interview with The Post and Courier. "What you're seeing is a lot of push-back, and that we're winning."

The Supreme Court decision settled the long-running dispute of Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores whose religious owners have balked at the Affordable Care Act's mandate that employees offer health plans that cover contraception for women.

The justices' 5-4 decision was the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

Critics said the ruling is unlikely to end the debate about the intersection of corporate interests and religion, or the necessity for health insurance plans to offer birth control.

Haley's perspective has been shaped by her experience working for her family's clothing store in rural Bamberg.

"This was a family-owned business," Haley said of Hobby Lobby. "They have the right to decide what they want to offer. This is what this country is all about."

Asked about the case earlier in the week, Democratic opponent Vincent Sheheen said he had not yet looked at the decision.

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