Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, an Arkansas couple who are the focus of TCL’s show “19 Kids and Counting,” are making headlines this week after making a starting announcement. The couple, infamous for their enormous family, is expecting their 20th child — a shocking revelation they made on Tuesday morning’s “Today” show.
Watch them discuss the pregnancy, below:
Michelle, who is 45, claims she’s in good physical shape and that she has no worries about the pregnancy. But two years ago, her 19th child was born with complications that ended up leading to pre-mature birth.
She waited to announce her current pregnancy until after she made it through her first trimester. “We are so excited,” she says. “I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful.”
The Duggars don’t use birth control, which explains the rapid growth and the massive size of their family. While they didn’t expect to be pregnant again, they are excited to prepare for the birth of yet another child.
When asked if this is their last and final child, the couple didn’t seem closed off to the possibility. “Well, I guess we’ll wait and see. We would love as many as the Lord sees fit to give us,” Michelle said.
Of course, there has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the family and its reproductive antics in the past. This announcement was no different. Following the news of the pregnancy, there were a variety of responses. Some called the decision to have another child idiotic, while others told critics that the family’s choices have no impact on others’ lives and that they should leave the family alone. The L.A. Times has more:
On Tuesday, tweets included the unkind variety — “sick,” “stupid” and “out of control” — as well as the what-did-they-ever-do-to-you variety — “You are not impacted by them procreating.” And then there was the innocuous: “Have they not run out of names starting with J?” (The kids are: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie.)
The Duggars have been criticized in the past for their opposition to birth control. As Christians, they claim that they decided to “give [the area of having children” up to the Lord.” Thus, they have essentially relied on prayer and have declined to purposefully prevent pregnancy. Below, see Michelle and Jim Bob discussing parenthood, birth control and more:
Looks like the show will have to be renamed to “20 Kids and Counting.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.