Updated: Nov 3, 2019
On Friday, three days after the comment, Ullman posted an apology on Twitter.
“This issue is intensely important to me,” she wrote, “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.”
According to the Washington Times, Ullman was speaking at the hearing in opposition to a proposed bill calling for fetal remains to be cremated or buried, regardless of gestational age.
“[House Bill 1890] refers specifically to the product of conception after fertilization, which covers an awful lot of territory,” Ullman said, according to the Times. “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, not to be, concrete — an early miscarriage is just some mess on a napkin.”
The video of Ullman making the remarks circulated on social media, drawing a torrent of reaction.
“I spent three months unable to get out of bed, mourning that ‘mess on a napkin.’ She can f--- off,” one woman wrote.
“I spent three months unable to get out of bed, mourning that ‘mess on a napkin.’ She can f--- off.” — Twitter commenter
One man wrote: “My wife went into a serious depression following a miscarriage. It was 22 years ago. I’ve seen nothing like it before or since. Scared me like nothing before or since.”
I miscarried my first child. I cried every day it seemed like forever,” another Twitter user wrote.
“What a callous person,” another woman commented. “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.”
"I have lost three babies. That ‘mess on a napkin’ devastates me everyday. 16 years ago, 12 years ago, and 6 years ago." — Twitter commenter
Mireya Villarreal, who penned a personal essay titled "'Did I cause this?' Getting past the stigma of miscarriages” for CBS News, said she continues to struggle with guilt despite doctors reassuring her that it was not her fault.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage, with the most occurring during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.