In what Politico calls a “surprise disclosure,” Congresswoman Michele Bachmann talked about having a miscarriage many years ago. The revelation came while she was discussing her opposition to abortion Wednesday night in South Carolina.
Searches of the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press archives show no previous references to her talking about a miscarriage. However, she did make a reference to it in 2008 during a House speech.
The Politico story calls it a first in presidential politics, and the writer, Maggie Haberman, says Bachmann:
…touched on topics that are rarely discussed publicly in politics, and Bachmann is one of a small handful of women who have run for the office. (The closest moment in memory was former First Lady Laura Bush writing about a miscarriage in her memoir, after her husband was in office, and not in front of a crowd on the stump).
The moment, during which the crowd was reportedly still at attention, was a deeply personal description that goes to the quality her supporters most often cite — authenticity.
The story quotes Bachmann, who was at a town hall meeting at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, explaining her opposition to abortion:
“After our second child was born, we became pregnant with a third baby. 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.
“And at that moment we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career minded or overly materialistic. When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.
“So we made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we’d receive them because we’re committed to life. And we didn’t know at that time we’d be foster parents, and that one day we’d be parents of 28 children, but we are extremely grateful for that opportunity because you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong. And I am committed to life.”
The story notes that Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, raised five biological children and the youngest just graduated from high school; they’ve also had 23 foster children.