A few weeks ago, I walked into an Iowa town hall in Jasper County as an undecided voter. I walked out of that same town hall as a Nikki Haley supporter.
I moved to Iowa years ago to attend Dordt University. There, I met my husband and never left the state. Now, I am an active caucus organizer who is no stranger to the presidential campaign cycle. I’ve worked alongside many campaigns and those know my endorsement isn’t something easily won over or decided on a whim.
I study candidates, look at their record, and listen to them on the stump — then I make my decision.
On that day, my decision was clear. Nikki Haley is the whole package. Conservative, tough, strong, and forward focused.
She’s committed to making America strong by building up our military. She isn’t blind to the threats America faces abroad and she has a plan to combat them. She’s an accountant who has balanced a checkbook and understands the value of a dollar.
Ultimately, it was Haley’s commitment to saving and protecting unborn children that clinched my endorsement. As the former president of the Iowa Right to Life, I have devoted my career to fighting for our children. I want a nominee who can talk about protecting life in a way that brings more people into the cause, rather than pushing people away. Ultimately, we will save babies and help moms by persuading people that life — all life — is worthy of protection and love.
I understand how personal this issue is for every woman and man. We must have a president who can empathetically communicate a pro-life position without compromising their beliefs.
Nikki Haley is the only candidate who can do that.
Nikki is a mom who openly talks about the trouble she had having her two children. Her husband was adopted and she talks about how grateful she is to have Michael in her life. Pregnancy is a deeply personal issue for every woman and man — especially women. It is life changing in all the best ways. We need a pro-life leader who can talk with people, not at people. We need a president who can unite our divided Congress to pass pro-life bills. Ultimately, Haley believes that we can save more babies and help more moms by humanizing the issue, instead of demonizing it.
As South Carolina governor, Nikki did just that. She signed pro-life legislation protecting babies from the point in time in which they can feel pain. She launched a “Birth Outcomes Initiative” aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving birth outcomes. Her administration oversaw a program to help first-time vulnerable moms by pairing them with nurses to guide and support them.
Nikki Haley is 100% pro-life, but leadership is not just about what you believe. It’s about how you communicate those beliefs to bring out the best in people. This caucus season, Iowans have a choice to move on from the chaos of the past and pick a new generational leader.
I will tell you what I told everyone in the audience that day: Don’t look at the polls or what the media is telling you because that is how we lose.
In 2024, America can’t afford to lose.
I challenge Iowans to think about who will be the best for our state and our country. Let that guide your decision making. Iowa, it’s time to be bold. It’s time to have courage. It’s time to elect Nikki Haley to be the next president of the United States.
Marlys Popma served twice as president of Iowa Right to Life, was the founding executive director of the Iowa Family Policy Center, now known as the Family Leader and served twice as the executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa.