The last time I talked about the Duggars on this site, I wanted to walk to gently. After all, we live in a free country, and thankfully (for the moment) women’s reproductive rights are fairly protected. As a woman who is  pro-choice from a legal standpoint and has been given an internet pedestal, I felt it was very important for me to make it clear that I respected Michelle’s decision to carry her 19th child, but was saddened that both she and her baby had to experience such a tough pregnancy and so many complications.

I was also concerned about her motives. If you take some time and go and read Michelle and Jim-Bob’s story, it’s hard not to ache for the former supporters and users of birth control who, when they decided to start their family, were faced with miscarriage, a punishment they believed was sent their way courtesy of an angry God. But, it’s also hard not to ache when you read about baby 19, daughter Josie, delivered nearly 3 months early, weighing little more than a pound whose early life was fraught with one health crisis after another.

I think this goes beyond an issue of being pro-choice or being anti-choice and becomes an issue of parenting. I am not a parent – I should make that clear before the assassination attempts begin – and I speak completely from a place of personal opinion when I say, it is irresponsible to knowingly endanger your life and the life of your child when you are already the mother of 18 children, many of whom are still quite, quite young. In fact, I think it undermines the very institution the clan took to the airwaves to promote a respect for: Family.

Kim Kardashian preaches love and being honest and then ditches Kris Humphries after 72 days and the world explodes at her for being false and for devaluing the institution of marriage. While the Duggars have always been consistent in word, having Michelle take to the TODAY show this morning to announce that she is yet again going to be putting herself and another unborn child in a position of extreme danger seems to completely discount and devalue the family she already has.

  • Anonymous

    I see where the writer’s concern comes from, however there are lots of women who get pregnant again after a difficult pregnancy. The Duggars are a Christian family who rely a lot on their faith to get them through tough times so  I know they will leave everything in God’s hands. They do a wonderful job and are showing America that raising children with good fashion values is still possible in this society. THey are self sufficient, God fearing and overall great parents I have no worries about their decision to add another addition to their familly. They do better with 19 kids than some people do with just one. Congrats Duggars , I was wandering when she was going to get pregnant again.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sorry but you leave me no choice. Were you referring to good, old-fashioned values or “girls should wear denim skirts” values? Because whereas I disagree with the specifics of the latter, I do agree that little girls should dress like little girls and not try to look “sexy” as is the trend these days.

      • Anonymous

        Im talking about good ol fashion Christian values not denim skirts. The Duggars dont allow their children to date without chapperones which is a good idea. They also dont allow them to watch everything on tv or the internet which is another good idea. I know people may think its a little far to go but in these days and times you need parents like these. Thats what I meant by good ol fashion values.

  • inacloud

    I wholeheartedly agree with your post. I met their announcement with some dismay… really, when is enough, enough?

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      thanks muchly! Pieces like this are tough to write, it means a lot to me when people express their support!

  • Anonymous

    So, basically then, any woman who experiences difficulty getting pregnant, or who is high risk, should not pursue pregnancy?  That would rule out lots of the fems who delay pregnancy in pursuit of establishing a career first.  I understand you have your point of view, and I respect it, however, this family seems self sufficient, and so far, none of the kids appear to be drug running, etc.  You truly would do the world more good by focusing on those women who think they can actually live like the Kardashian sister who had the baby without marriage.  Yes, she can do it, to no cost to the US taxpayers.  However, most single moms are a huge financial burden on the US taxpayers, and their kids are too!  I’d rather have dozens more born to the Duggars and families like them rather than the thousands born to young women with no money, no education and no future for themselves or their offspring.  Really think about that.  If you would focus your criticism on the poor single moms, you could do some real good.  Instead of sounding like a paranoid feminist.  The Duggars are not telling everyone they should live like them, they’re just living their lives and taking care of their family.  If every woman would take personal responsibility for every child they bear, we’d be SO much better off as a society!

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      I’m a little confused by your arguments – you seem to be staunchly opposed to single motherhood, but also seem to be a proponent of women establishing themselves professionally before they decide to start families, and while these things are not strictly in opposition with each other, ideologically it’s not really consistent.

      Is your factoid about single mom’s being the greatest drain on our nation accurate? Is there a place I can see this info, or is it personal opinion? I ask because I have a hard time blaming our current economic state as a country on women seeking government assistance when I’m like, 98% sure we’re in debt because of a massively draining unjust war and a complete collapse in American banking.

      I never said women who were high risk shouldn’t try to conceive or that they couldn’t have children. Just as you think it’s irresponsible for single moms to, well, exist, I guess, I think it’s irresponsible for a woman already  blessed with 19 kids to put herself in a position where she could die to bring another child into that family.

      To close, I may be paranoid, but it doesn’t mean the Kardashians aren’t out to get you.

  • Anonymous

    I wish you would share this opinion with all the single moms who have dumped their burden on society.  I would never have this many children, I couldn’t afford it.  However, they are free to do as they please, and so far, they are financially independent.  They don’t even use the public schools.  Most kids born to single moms are OUR financial burden from cradle to grave.   I just wish people would focus on that, rather than ripping apart a FAMILY who is functioning independently.

    • http://fempop.com Alex Cranz

      Wo ho a Reaganaut! Alive in well thirty years later. I must take a picture of you.

      • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

        Gipper FTW!

        • http://fempop.com Alex Cranz

          He’s the best.

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      And speaking of paranoia…I don’t think anyone is trying to rip the Duggars apart. But, you have to expect in a country divided between the evangelical majority and the secular coastal minorities, that by choosing to put themselves on T.V. it is only natural that a debate is going to occur.

      I also think it’s really sad that you view government programs created to help women and families as being destructive. I think they’re pretty great examples of beliefs that this country was founded on. “Give me your poor, your huddled masses,” etc.

  • http://fempop.com Alex Cranz

    It’s touch being a proponent for a woman’s choice and right to control her body when you see a woman purposely abuse her body out of religious necessity.

    But then again, I’m a massive fan of adoption so I can’t even begin to empathize with the Duggars.

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      Fact: over the years Alex has adopted not one, but at least two fictional children.

  • Anonymous

    I’m what you would call anti-choice (anti-abortion, in real life), and I agree she’s being irresponsible.  They can’t even use the rhythm method?  Really?  Not only is she being irresponsible about her own body and the body of her child, but I also get the distinct impression she’s popping out this newest Dugger for the attention/publicity, which is one of the very worst reasons to have a baby, in my opinion.

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      agreed – also please look at how awesome it is that we are two people who politely disagree on one issue, but are in agreement on this one. Yay for being awesome.

  • Heather Jackson

    Yes, the Duggars have every right to pop out as many kids as they would like. But calling them “good parents” doesn’t necessarily fit with my view of good parents. Remember that the Duggars use a system in which an older child essentially raises a younger child. Good parents ensure that they have a personal relationship with each child, so that the child feels special and uniquely loved. If you entirely cut out sleep, jobs, school, errands, homework, etc, each child is only allotted 1.2 hours in a 24-hour period. Which means after adding in those things, each child’s special time with their parent is cut down to minutes at the most (I’m not going to bore you with the math, but just think about it). Do the Duggars really even know each child, or do they just know the mass of children as a collective group? I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up feeling like your older sibling is more of a parent to you than your actual parents- and that your actual parents barely know you.

    Now, granted, many other families with only a few children also neglect to provide special time with their kids, so this problem is not unique to the Duggars. It just definitely takes them out of the running for “Great Parents” in my book.

  • Heather Jackson

    Oh, and I also think the article is great. Good way of getting your point across respectfully, I believe.

    • http://www.fempop.com Rebecca Jane Stokes

      Thanks Heather! And well said yourself.