The Duggars expecting 20th child, ‘a blessing’ from God

CBS News The Duggars stopped their use of contraception after their unplanned second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Jim Bob and … Continued

CBS News

The Duggars stopped their use of contraception after their unplanned second pregnancy ended in miscarriage.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar announced Tuesday that they are expecting a baby, growing their clan to 20 children and two, very fertile, parents.

The reality TV stars have eschewed birth control since their unplanned second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage — a tragedy that they believe could have been caused by the birth control pill Michelle was taking at the time.

But what lies beneath the Duggars’ fecundity? It’s one thing to be skeptical of hormonal methods of contraception; it’s another to open your lives to 20 children. What do the Duggars believe about pregnancy prevention?

Here’s what Michelle Duggar, now 45, said about their beliefs on birth control during the couple’s interview with Sally Quinn in 2009:

The Duggars, who live debt free in Arkansas, are both from Baptist backgrounds but are not currently affiliated with any denomination and hold Christian worship services in their home.

During their announcement on the “Today” show, host Ann Curry asked whether the Duggars had plans for any more. Michelle responded:

“We’ll wait and see. We would love however many the Lord sees fit to give us.”

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • HalimaBlue

    They appear to be a wonderful family, full of traditional values and have raised good children who contribute to their communities. We need more families like the Duggars.

  • atb2

    We do not need more families like the Duggars. They would be the first to agree to the creepy personhood proposal in MS. Less of that would be good.

  • nonsensical2001

    God wants you to find a good psychiatrist.

  • EAHarrison

    These people are beyond selfish.

  • jackboose

    They must be Republicans. I’m sure they pay their way without government help. God bless them.

  • nfroderman

    I wonder if they have never heard of forms of birth control other than the pill????? How about abstinence during her fertile period?

  • mytorpor

    Actually, yes they do. They have never taken government help. Remember, their family was this large overnight! They began selling cars and now own rental properties and several other small businesses and of course they have the TV program. I have no idea what their political affliations are as they do not bring that into their program. They may not even vote as many very religious families do not.

  • mytorpor

    How are they being selfish? They take nothing from you, they take nothing in government aid, they support themselves and give generously of their time to others. All of the children are happy, healthy and are on track to become productive citizens. So please do explain how this is selfish? I’d rather see more familes like theirs and far fewer welfare homes here in America!

  • MitchL

    Can anyone say publicity stunt? The older kids, not the parents, take care of the younger kids. Michelle talks like a “Stepford Wife.” These people are DISGUSTING!

  • jcbison06

    Really? How so? They choose to have as many kids as they want taking care of them without government or outside assistance, their children grow up in a wonderfully stable environment and are taught excellent ethics and moral values. Their oldest son is married, has a good job and a kid of his own and is supporting his family. The older kids help take care of the younger kids as part of learning to take care of themselves and their future families. If anything many families in America could learn many things from these people.

  • homeschool4joy

    God bless the Duggars!

  • Mirialiah

    They may be productive and all of that and I do admire them for not living off government aid. It’s admirable that they live debt free and I wish I was as good at organizing and planning as Michelle is.

    However, I still think there’s just something wrong with having 20 children. They say they’ll take as many as God will give them which is honorable— but when will they take a hint? When she just stops being capable of having them due to age (which seems to be the case, judging by her interviews)? How come Josie’s super early birth and the other complications from that weren’t viewed as a sign from God that they should maybe stop? She almost died multiple times and the poor little girl is still having problems.

    Michelle is already at mature maternal age so they have an increased chance of having a sick child or one with disabilities (possibly more complicated than Josie’s). I’m not saying they couldn’t love a child with these issues just like another but I don’t think it’s fair to go into it knowing these risks. (too late though)

    And this is going to sound harsh and uncaring but honestly, the planet is already having a population issue. We’re leaving behind carbon footprints and each child put into the world just multiplies that. It feels wrong for one family to assume they can just pop out 20 children without any detriment to the planet. Obviously there are other people doing the same thing and with less care for God’s creation but they’ve still done it. If you think about it, their family will probably multiply 10-fold with all of those children procreating in the future.

    It’s just scary.

  • highpeak

    Why should we be granting a standard deductions for taxes for couples with more than 5 children? After 5 children, the IRS should stop granting a standard deduction for these baby factories and see how long they are willing to “take care of them without government or outside assistance”.

  • DCCubefarm

    Catholic roulette? Sucess rate of periodic abstinence depends on how closely the woman tracks her fertility, how regular her cycle is, and how firmly they adhere to the abstinence requirement.

    Better than nothing. But not by much. I suspect this method would also be against their religion, as it has human will to “circumventing” God’s will.

  • haveaheart

    Stop with the mindless babble about how these people pay their own way and don’t take government assistance.

    Their entire existence is underwritten by a television show, and they get tax deductions for each kid they pop out.

    In case you folks aren’t aware of what this means, their tax deductions come out of your pockets. With that many kids, they probably have a negative-balance tax bill, and that’s because they’re paying nothing while we pay to maintain those deductions for them.

    And this doesn’t even begin to consider the environmental impact these people have or the disproportional stress they put on public services and utilities. (All stuff we pay for.)

    Wake up, folks. This isn’t some back-to-basics, American pioneer family. These people are exploiting the system at every turn.

  • rags6847

    Why would any woman want to do this to her body????

  • DCHillgirl

    They and their family seems happy but both her and the baby almost died last time. I’m not sure I would risk leaving my kids without a mom and my husband a widower in order to have a 20th baby. There are a lot of parables and jokes out there about God chastening people for not taking responsiblity for themselves and entirely relying on a higher power instead and dying as a result. I hope things turn out well.

  • anesa50

    She and her baby almost died last time and she is 45 yrs old. What is there to be happy about here? The risks of having a baby at this age is very high for her, and the health issues of the baby will be questionable. They need to let good sense prevail. I do not support their opinion that God is saying it’s ok to have 20 children and not use birth control – He gave us a brain. Besides, i cannot begin to comprehend why she would allow her body to go thru this so many times… and i agree with what Mirialiah wrote.

  • john1513

    Families and siblings look after one another. The alternative is spoiled children whose parents have to do everything for them. Come down off the high horse, it’s great down here.

  • john1513

    Caring for children and sustaining a marriage is so selfish.

  • john1513

    Some parents do much worse with far fewer children. Don’t be afraid to learn from successful families.

  • galerouth19521

    this has got to be the most retarded, jack-asinine thing i saw today, but i’m glad that America is starting to see these freaks for what they are, and starting to question the sanity of this family and their beliefs….it’s about time!

    i feel this is child abuse, ever one should get counseling.

    my questions michelle are: WHY are you doing this? do you have an addiction to being pregnant? do you feel that if you are not pregnant, no ones loves you? is your husband forcing you to be pregnant? are you doing this for attention and/or doing this for another show? are you doing this because ATHEISM is on the rise? and if this is the reason—then you are not helping your cause. LOL.

    do you even know you even know your children? do you feel that your children like doing your job as a parents to their siblings? why can’t you use the rhythm method correctly, since you don’t like birth control or condoms? do you think god will favor you for being pregnant multi-times–even though you are not really parenting—your kids are? and you do know that pregnancy can KILL you?

  • asdf3

    Actually, Jim Bob Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. He is a Republican.

  • ambertheflowerlady

    Jim Bob needs to man up and get snipped. If they really believe what they are saying about loving children, they are plenty of children in the foster care system that they can help raise and love.

  • harrypotterfan77393

    I feel so sorry for the older children. It sounds like they will never be able to leave the house. I think only one has been able to leave all the rest are built in babysitters. College anyone??

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