Campaigning in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said a “devastating” miscarriage helped shape her pro-life views on abortion. The compelling personal story ties in to her rationale for becoming a foster care mom.
While on the campaign trail in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Minnesota congresswoman revealed she had a miscarriage decades ago and that the event led her to solidify her pro-life views and prompted her and her husband to become a foster home to 23 children over the years.
“After our second child was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” Bachmann said, according to a Politico report. “And it was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. And the child was coming along, and we ended up losing that child. And it was devastating for both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”
She said the miscarriage also prompted Bachmann and her husband Marcus to re-evaluate their personal and professional life goals.
“At that moment we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career minded or overly materialistic,” she said, according to Politico. “When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.”
“We made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life,” she added.
Reporters at the event say Bachmann shared it about halfway through her town hall at Winthrop University on Wednesday night. The miscarriage story is not one that Bachmann has shared much and Peter Hamby from CNN reports that “Even some of Bachmann’s staffers were caught by surprise when she talked about the miscarriage and had not heard [the] story before.”
The revelation comes after Bachmann recently signed, along with Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, a pro-life pledge put forward by the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group that works to elect pro-life candidates to office. The pledge commits the signers to nominating Constitutional judges who will not legislate from the bench, supporting efforts to de-fund abortion and the Planned Parenthood abortion business, and pushing a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks based on the scientific evidence showing unborn children feel pain.
Bachmann chided Republican rival Mitt Romney for not signing the pledge.
“This last weekend there was a National Right to Life Committee Convention and I had signed, happily, the Susan B. Anthony List pledge regarding being pro-life as president of the United States,” she said. “I had issued a statement saying that I believed that all Republican candidates should sign that statement. Our party platform is pro-life, and I believe that our president also needs to be pro-life.”
Asked about her response to Romney, Bachmann said, “Well, I think particularly now, Governor Romney has stated that he is pro-life, I take him at his word but, he’s had some issues with that in his past, where he has taken various positions. This was a wonderful opportunity to sign the pledge and demonstrate that he’s pro-life. He chose not to. I think that’s troubling and I think that he should have signed the pledge.”
“I think that the voters will have to take a look at this,” Bachmann added in the interview. “I know for me, it’s very troubling. And I called on the Governor to sign the pledge because after all you can get a lot of things wrong; one thing that you cannot get wrong is the issue of life. That is a foundational issue in our nation and I think it’s important that our candidate for the presidency stand for life.”
Romney did not sign the pledge and his officials said it was because he worried the de-funding legislation would also revoke funding for hospitals, though the legislation currently pending in Congress does not do so.
Romney also released a pro-life statement of position at National Review, but Bachmann said originally that it is “distressing” that Romney did not sign the pledge.