Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar haven’t ruled out Baby No. 20.
“We’ll just wait and see what God has in store,” says Michelle in the Feb. 8 issue of People magazine.
It’s hard to believe the couple would risk another — and another and another? — pregnancy after what they experienced with child No. 19, daughter Josie Brooklyn. She was born at 25 weeks gestation and weighed only 1 pound 6 ounces. She’s around 8 weeks old and is still in the NICU at a Little Rock hospital.
So what exactly makes the Duggars refuse to say no? TV contracts? Death-defying thrills?
Vyckie Garrison, a mother of seven and former adherent of the Quiverfull movement, explains in a post over at Alternet that when the Duggars say it’s in God’s hands, they mean it.
You see, once a woman’s mind grasps the concept of “trusting the Lord” with her reproductive life ~ absolutely nothing is ever simple or obvious again. The Quiverfull philosophy is an alluring and powerful spell ~ and the woman so enchanted feels the euphoria of the “Big Happy Family,” she is seduced by a vision of chivalrous men and genteel ladies, tempted by the promise of God’s protection and provision, and she knows the sheer ecstasy of inhaling deeply the ambrosial smell of yet another newborn.
Garrison’s uterus partially ruptured during the birth of her fourth child. She nearly bled to death and was advised that future pregnancies would also be risky. So what did she do? She had three more babies. You see, she still had a uterus. If God had wanted her to stop, she explains, he would have laid His hands on the surgeon’s hands and performed a divine hysterectomy.
Garrison is a leader in the organization No Longer Quivering, a group trying to hold to account the Quiverfull movement leaders who, NLQ members claim, are misleading their followers with warped renderings of Scripture. Interesting to note, the top dog in the Quiverfull movement is Bill Gothard, who Garrison says has never been married and has no children.
I think the Duggars have too many kids and that Michelle would be taking a big risk if she got pregnant again. But I wouldn’t do anything to forcibly stop them from bearing more. In fact, I’m aghast when people say doctors should tie her tubes even if she doesn’t consent.
However, I’ll also confess a bit of irritation with the family if they continue to have babies who will need expensive medical treatments just to be brought in the world and kept alive. It used to be that the Duggars cost the rest of us nothing, in a direct sense (yes, if they all wind up driving RVs the world will, indeed, melt– but I’m being generous to make a point). Now, however, their baby girl’s medical expenses — and any future medical expenses from future offspring — will be a direct burden to their insurance company, which will certainly pass on the cost of doing business with the Duggars to the rest of its subscribers.
Thought experiment: if the Duggars got dropped from their health insurance (high risk, pre-existing conditions), would they stop having babies? If so, does that mean the health insurance industry is, as expected, more powerful than God?