Backlash in Duluth after councilor appears to dismiss woman’s miscarriage

KBJR reports that Duluth City Councilmember Jay Fosle was responding to a woman during a conversation about earned sick and safe time when he appeared to dismiss her story about her miscarriage.

“Thirty-one years ago, I was 19, pregnant and scared,” Christina St. Germaine had just told the council. “I had a miscarriage. I wasn’t able to take time off for work to care for myself to prevent the miscarriage nor post-miscarriage.”

As city councilor Jay Fosle was expressing his concerns about the earned sick and safe time proposal, he appeared to address St. Germaine personally.

“People make choices in life, if you got pregnant at 19 you did that on your own,” he said.

That first comment was met with boos from the crowd.

“That’s too bad,” he continued. “Sorry you feel that way. You made those choices. That’s what life is. Life is a choice. Apparently, with what I just heard, the choices they’re making are, they want things for free, just like the lady said that was up here earlier.”

“I was trying to make a comparison that a citizen had a event in their life and had to make a choice and the outcome was bad and the fact that the Council will have to make a choice that could be bad and possibly hurt businesses in the City. I was interrupted by the group and didn’t finish the statement which was then taken out of text,” Fosle said in an emailed statement to the station.

Fosle didn’t respond to a request for clarification.

The woman tells the TV station she’s gotten a backlash too.

“I did not expect that respected members of the community, some of whom, I considered friends would think it would be okay to contact me and tell me how my miscarriage 31 years ago makes me a terrible human being,” St. Germaine said.