South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) doesn’t believe that rape and domestic abuse are matters of public health, which is why she vetoed nearly half a million dollars slated to go toward domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs.
Haley defended the veto by claiming these kinds of prevention programs “distract from” the Department of Health’s mission to tend to matters of public health. Furthermore, Haley argued, rape victims represent only a “small portion” of South Carolinians who need assistance. “Each of these lines attempts to serve a portion of our population for which we extend our sympathy and encouragement, but nevertheless, it is only a small portion of South Carolina’s chronically ill or abused. Overall, these special add-on lines distract from the agency’s broader mission of protecting South Carolina’s public health.”
As ThinkProgress reports, Haley may want to re-think her reasoning. South Carolina ranks seventh in the country for the number of women killed by men, and has had a rate of sexual violence higher than the national average since 1982. If anything the state should be increasing resources to help get the epidemic of violence against women under control.
Haley’s veto would be shocking if it wasn’t to be expected by Republican governors. Rape and domestic violence prevention programs are hardly “distractions” to an agency designed to address matters of public health, unless of course you don’t believe that rape and domestic violence are matters of public concern. It’s patently obvious that is exactly what Republicans think.
Photo from mazpho.to via flickr.