Pennsylvania lawmaker sparks outrage over remarks on miscarriages: 'Those words broke my heart'


A Pennsylvania lawmaker who was shown on video calling early miscarriages "just some mess on a napkin" has now apologized for her comments, which had spawned backlash from parents and conservative media members.

Ullman, a Democratic state representative from Bucks County, Pa., made the statement during an Oct. 29 hearing House Health Committee hearing.

The committee was discussing a bill that would require healthcare facilities to bury or cremate the remains of fetuses that died from abortion or miscarriage when Ullman shared her thoughts on the measure.

"I think we all understand the concept of the loss of a fetus, but we're also talking about a woman who comes into a facility and is having cramps and, not to be concrete, but an early miscarriage is just some mess on a napkin," Ullman said. "And I'm not sure people would agree that this is something that we want to take to the point of ritual — either cremation or internment."

A clip of Ullman's comments, posted to YouTube by the Pennsylvania Family Council, a socially conservative nonprofit, quickly went viral.

The footage was shared widely on social media, with many people weighing in on Twitter and sharing their own experiences with miscarriage.

"What a callous person," one Twitter user wrote. "Hearing those words broke my heart. I have lost three babies. That 'mess on a napkin' devastates me everyday. 16 years ago, 12 years ago, and 6 years ago."

Several conservative-leaning Twitter accounts, including those of the radio show "Chicks on the Right" and TheBlaze journalist Jason Howerton, also shared criticism of Ullman's comments.

"Why don't we ask some women who have actually LOST children in a miscarriage and see if they agree with you????" Howerton tweeted.

Ullman apologized for the statement last Friday, telling followers she should have chosen a better way to express her beliefs.

"This issue is intensely important to me, and that’s why I struggled for words. My words were poorly chosen, and I apologize. I remain steadfast that every single step of a medical process, including the handling of remains, should be decided by a patient and her doctor," one of Ullman's tweets read.