Appearing at a South Carolina town hall meeting, Rep. Michele Bachmann told a crowd of about 600 supporters her views on abortion were shaped in large part by a miscarriage she and her husband endured over two decades ago.
Bachmann, the mother of five children, said on Wednesday the miscarriage occurred during her third pregnancy.
“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,” Bachmann stated during the event. “And it was devastating for both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”
As a result of the loss, Bachmann said the miscarriage helped her and her husband Marcus, a Christian counselor, make the decision to raise foster children alongside their own children. In addition to fostering 23 children, Bachmann said the miscarriage also prompted them to reevaluate their professional and personal goals.
“At that moment we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career-minded or overly materialistic,” she said. “When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.”
Physicians and counselors say of all the dramatic occurrences that can happen in life, having a miscarriage or losing a child is one of the most significant. Michael Malone is a licensed professional Counselor in Memphis, Tenn., and sees many families who have suffered the effects of a miscarriage or still born child.
“Any traumatic event should bring people to a place of assessment,” said Malone. “In other words, ‘what is my life really about and how has this event impacted my life?’ Often people think it’s their fault or they’ve done something wrong, but that’s where I want their focus to be.”
Malone said what most people need is “downtime” to assess if their life is being shaped by their priorities or by what they are doing in life.
“When downtime is enforced – like when a major event happens – it causes people to reflect on what their life has been about and where they are headed. Many times events such as a miscarriage are God’s way of getting our attention. We need the downtime to pray and listen to what God is saying,” Malone reinforced.
Bachmann has affirmed a strong pro-life stance and has expressed her determination to cut federal funding from Planned Parenthood, especially if that means repealing Barack Obama's health care plan.
In South Carolina, she spoke on other campaign issues and surprised many in the crowd when she would not commit to signing the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge advocated by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and fellow conservatives.
The Minnesota congresswoman said she believes the pledge needs stronger language and needs to cover more issues.
Bachmann is close to the top of many polls, alongside former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.