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GOP presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy shared stories about how their faith helped their families through miscarriages earlier last month at the informal FAMiLY Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum. Ron DeSantis shared his and his wife’s own difficulties with struggling to start their family, saying, “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.” On a trip to Israel, the couple went to Shiloh with Hannah’s Prayer, a prayer said by a woman struggling with infertility found in the book of 1 Samuel. Shortly after their trip, DeSantis’s wife, Casey, conceived. Yet, despite it seeming to be an answer to prayer, that pregnancy ended in tragedy. “But unfortunately, we lost that first baby,” DeSantis informed the panel.

Despite struggling with why God would allow them to conceive only to lose the child, DeSantis said he and his wife “kept the faith.” “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.” The DeSantis’s would go on to have two more children, a boy and a girl aged 5 and 3, respectively. “I think it showed me, one, life has a long and winding road. Keep the faith,” DeSantis said. He then went on to explain how the experience informed his position against abortion. “But it also told me, you know what, this is special. I’ve got to fight for these kids, and I’ve got to fight for all these kids.”

GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy shared a similar experience with his own wife, Apoorva. Apoorva had a miscarriage during her first pregnancy while she was in her fourth year of residency. “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,” he shared. He called the miscarriage a “loss.” “We lost our first child, and that was the loss of a life.” He stated that his wife, normally upbeat, “went into a state of depression after that, and our faith is what got us through it, actually. Our faith teaches us that, you know our child joined his creator, and one day, we will too.” The couple had another scare during Apoorva’s next pregnancy when she was told she was miscarrying again. Fortunately, a test revealed a heartbeat and the couple’s son, Karthik, was born. “That was a life,” Ramaswamy said of his son, explaining why he was pro-life. “I think that that’s what gives us our commitment. Yes, there’s a logic of it. But when you bring life into this world, you’ll protect all life, born and unborn.”

DeSantis and Ramaswamy come from very different faith backgrounds. DeSantis is Catholic and calls his family a “Christ-centered household.” He also cited his faith for helping him and his wife through her breast cancer battle in 2021. “It definitely increased her spirits when we went public and people started praying for us,” he told CBN. Ramaswamy, on the other hand, is Hindu, yet often cites the Bible due to attending a Catholic school. “I’ve actually read the Bible much more closely than many of, probably most of, my Christian friends,” he said at a campaign stop. He told NBC News in July that while he is not a Christian, he a is a “person of faith.” “Evangelical Christians across the state are also people of faith. We found commonality in our need to defend religious liberty, to stand for faith and patriotism and stand unapologetically for the fact that we are one nation under God.” He has stated that he does not believe his Hinduism will be a stumbling block to voters. “I think it’s legitimate to gain comfort with somebody who is of a different faith — I am a Hindu — occupying that office. But we share the same values in common. I think that is true. And because it’s true, I think that people will come to understand that for the commander-in-chief, that’s what matters.”

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