Two presidential candidates are crediting their religious faith with helping their families cope in the aftermath of losing babies to miscarriages.
Two presidential candidates discussed their experiences with miscarriages at the FAMiLY Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum on Nov. 17. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of the three Republican presidential candidates who participated in the informal conversation hosted by the Iowa-based Christian conservative advocacy group, recalled his initial difficulties conceiving a child with his wife, Casey.
Life has a long and winding road. Keep the faith. pic.twitter.com/CIRB5HKa89— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 17, 2023
“We were married, doing our thing. I was in the Navy, my wife was busy as a TV reporter, and we wanted to have a family, and it didn’t happen at first,” he explained.
DeSantis told the audience that he and his wife took a trip to Israel after he was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012. “We literally went to Shiloh with Hannah’s Prayer, we went to Ruth’s Tomb in Hebron, Ruth 4:13,” he said.
“We prayed, we prayed a lot to have a family, and then, lo and behold, we go back to the United States, and a little time later, we … got pregnant,” he added. “But unfortunately, we lost that first baby.”
DeSantis described losing his first child due to a miscarriage as a “tough thing,” noting, “This is something that we had so much hopes for, so much aspirations.”
The presidential candidate maintained that despite the difficulties he experienced as a result of the miscarriage, he and his wife remained confident in God: “We just kept the faith, we just kept praying. We knew that there would be a path that God would lead us on, and lo and behold … a short time after ... we had our first baby girl.”
“We didn’t stop after that. We’ve got a 5-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, and we’ve got a big, full, joyous household,” he added. DeSantis cited his experience as evidence that “life has a long and winding road,” illustrating the need to “keep the faith.”
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, another presidential candidate who appeared at the discussion, also recounted his personal experience with miscarriage at the event. He detailed how his wife, Apoorva, unexpectedly became pregnant during her fourth year of residency, leading the couple to experience a lot of excitement: “We told everybody we knew, we were ecstatic. We told our parents. We weren’t expecting the blessing, but we were grateful for it. We told our family members [and] celebrated with our friends.”
After highlighting how he and his wife had begun writing a letter to their unborn child, Ramaswamy described the tragedy that unfolded about three-and-a-half months into the pregnancy: “One day, she woke up, she said, ‘I’m bleeding.’ She had a miscarriage.”
“We lost our first child, and that was the loss of a life; it was our family’s loss,” he stated. After praising his wife as “one of the most upbeat, strong, positive people you will meet,” Ramaswamy outlined how the miscarriage caused her to sink into a depression.
However, the candidate credited the couple’s Hindu faith with helping them cope with the loss of their child: “Our faith teaches us that … our child joined his Creator and one day we will too.”
Ramaswamy expressed gratitude that God gave the couple the “blessing” of a child a few months later, while stressing that “God wasn’t done testing us.” He noted that his wife drew blood while operating on one of her patients only to discover that the person had HIV and Hepatitis B.
After believing she had miscarried for the second time, a doctor discovered that the baby had a heartbeat when she showed up for an appointment the following day. Ramaswamy then invited his son, the child his wife had incorrectly thought she had lost in a miscarriage, to sit on his lap.
The FAMiLY Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum was held less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, where the three candidates who participated hope to score an upset victory over former President Donald Trump. The RealClearPolitics average of polls measuring the intentions of likely Iowa caucusgoers finds that Trump remains the favorite to win the first nominating contest ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
The average of polls taken between Oct. 22 and Nov. 15 shows Trump receiving 47% support, followed by DeSantis at 17.4%. Former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, the third candidate who participated in the Thanksgiving Family Forum, has the support of 14.3% of voters, while Ramaswamy comes in at fifth place with 5% support. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who has since dropped out of the presidential race, finishes slightly ahead of Ramaswamy at 6%.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled to take place on Jan. 15. Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of the FAMiLY Leader who moderated the debate, told The Christian Post in a previous interview that despite Trump’s consistent polling lead, the contest is “wide-open” and “tailor-made for the former president … to get beat.”
While speaking highly of the efforts of most of the top-tier presidential candidates to court Iowa voters, Vander Plaats suggested that DeSantis, in particular, had a “comprehensive strategy to win the caucuses.” He officially endorsed DeSantis two weeks ago.
According to The Green Papers, which keeps track of the presidential primary process, Iowa will award its 40 delegates on a proportional basis. This means that the amount of delegates a candidate will receive will match their share of the vote in the contest. As a result of the proportional allocation, candidates who do not win the caucus will likely still walk away with delegates.
The Iowa caucuses will kick off a string of primaries and caucuses scheduled to take place in all 50 states and several territories throughout the first half of 2024, the results of which will determine the Republican Party’s nominee for president. A candidate must receive at least 1,236 out of 2,470 delegates in order to win.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org