A midwife manager at Galway University Hospital told Savita Halappanavar that a termination could not be carried out because Ireland was a "Catholic country".
Ann Burke told the inquest she was very upset about it and that she did not mean the remark in a hurtful context.
Ms Burke said in hindsight it "sounded bad" and was something she regretted.
She told the coroner she had said it to give Mrs Halappanavar information because she was puzzled.
Ms Burke said Mrs Halappanavar had mentioned the Hindu faith and that in India "a termination would be possible".
Ms Burke said the remark had "come out the wrong way and I'm sorry that I said it".
"I was trying to be as broad and explanatory as I could. It was nothing to do with medical care at all," she said.
The coroner, Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, said the remark had gone around the world and he said public hospitals in Ireland did not follow religious dogma of any persuasion.
Earlier, the consultant obstetrician who treated Mrs Halappanavar told the inquest into her death there was a "systems failure" in the care that was given to her.