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October 23, 2014

Michelle Duggar Defends Her Decision to Have Another Baby

by Catherine Lawson, posted Nov 9th 2011 8:55AM
Michelle and Jim Bob DuggarYesterday Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced on live television that they are expecting their 20th child together. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has provoked criticism of the couple's lifestyle choices and their decision to proceed with such a potentially high-risk pregnancy given their already large family.

So why can't the couple stop having babies? The Internet rumor mill's been working overtime, and theories being bandied about include: Is Michelle addicted to being pregnant? Do they procreate to get attention? Are they making too much money from their reality show to give it up? Or, are they, as Michelle told Ann Curry yesterday, just staying true to their motto of "There's always room for one more?"

Now Michelle -- who has suffered twice from pre-eclampsia -- defended her decision to have another child, telling 'People' that if the prospect of potentially life-threatening prenatal complications were going to deter her, then "we would have stopped back with our second birth. ... There are many women who have experienced pre-eclampsia and have gone on to have more children."

She went on: "That whole mind set that you stop after a problem pregnancy isn't realistic. You may encounter struggles along the way. You may not have a perfect pregnancy, but each child is a precious gift."

Despite saying that "we aren't going to worry about the negative things stated" by critics
(has she been reading the comments posted on AOL TV yesterday?), Michelle did address those who've questioned how the Duggars can afford to support their huge family: She said that they live within their means, mortgage- and debt-free. The couple also challenged the idea that their older kids bear too much of the burden of caring for the younger ones.

"We homeschool, so we are around our children day in and day out," said Jim Bob. "Because I am in real estate, I am home and can be with the children a lot. When we go to the store or run errands, we take the kids one on one and we get to spend more time individually than a lot of parents do."

The Duggars are just one family in the ever-increasing TLC stable of reality shows about people who choose to have lots and lots of kids (and, in the case of 'Sister Wives', lots of kids and wives). So, just how lucrative is '19 Kids and Counting' for the family?

The network won't disclose individual deals, but an earlier report by E! Online estimated that the Duggars are paid 10 percent of the production budget, which meant that in 2009 -- when they were at 18 kids and counting -- they were reckoned to be pulling in around $25,000 to $40,000 per episode. However, that sum was likely to increase if they had more children as the production budget would also have to rise.

By contrast, at the height of their reality show success, fellow TLC stars the Gosselins were thought to be getting around $75,000 per episode. And it's not just the mega-families at TLC -- reality stars at other networks also do very nicely thank you. MTV 'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood makes $280,000 per year, Bravo is rumored to pay 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' over $250,000 per year each, and the Kardashians have built a multi-million dollar empire off the back of their E! reality show franchise.

The huge sums involved go a long way to explaining why, despite the stresses of having your entire life played out on television, reality stars find it so hard to quit. Will Michelle stop at baby number 20? Or will we be tuning into '20 Kids and Counting' some time in the next couple of years? Only time will tell.


'Duggars World Tour: Scotland & Ireland,' premieres Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8PM ET on TLC.

Follow Catherine on Twitter.

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kaweah25

I REALLY LIKE THE DUGGERS THEY ARE A GOOD FAMILY BUT, STOP RISKING THE LIFE OF MICHELLE. I ONCE HEARD JIM BOB SAY IN ONE OF THEIR SHOWS THAT HE WANTED 20 CHILDREN, I FIGURED SHE WOULD GET PREGANT AGAIN. MICHELLE YOU HAVE 19 CHILDREN WHY RISK IT ALL AT YOUR AGE (sorry) ESPECIALLY WITH YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY PROBLEMS. THE RESPONSIBILITIES AS A MOTHER ARE NUMBER 1, DON'T RISK YOUR LIFE YOU NEED TO BE THERE. IT'S A FACT LOSE THE MOTHER THE FAMILY IS FOREVER CHANGED. MICHELLE WAKE UP YOUR CHILDREN NEED YOU FOR A VERY LONG TIME. DON'T TAKE THE CHANCE OF MISSING OUT ON SOMETHING YOU'VE WORKED SO HARD FOR YOUR CHILDREN. A CHILD IS A PRECIOUS GIFT BE THERE THAT IS A MOTHERS GIFT TO HER CHILDREN. THINK ABOUT IT. JIM BOB YOU NEED TO LOOK AFTER THE WELL BEING OF YOUR WIFE AND WHAT IS GOOD FOR HER AND THE FAMILY IT IS YOUR JOB NOT TO RISK THE LIFE OF YOUR WIFE MICHELLE. I LOVE GOD TOO. WE NEED TO LOOK AT OURSELVES TO TAKE CARE OF THINGS. GOD IS VERY BUSY AND WANTS US TO TAKE THE LEAD IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES AND OUR FAMILIES. THAT IS THE GIFT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN (LIFE)

December 09 2011 at 3:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
coni

These sheeple have a 200 year plan to rule the government by breeding an army for Christ. Therefore, females are taught from very young age to be homemakers. They follow the teachings of Bill Gothard,a 70+ yr old,never married
cult leader. They are homeschooled using his bible based Wisdom Booklets..Look up "Quiverfull Movement". The Duggars are not what they seem..at all

December 01 2011 at 12:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kent

You shouldn't let a problem pregnancy deter you from having more children? That's really dumb advice. When I was born, my mother learned that:

a) every pregnancy would require a C-Section, and
b) she was Rh negative, while my father was Rh positive. Pregnancies two, three, etc. ran some severe risks back in the 1960s, so my parents stopped.

Even if the kids are home schooled, how do you handle the schedules of that many children? Between soccer, play dates, T-ball, etc., this would be as complicated as booking airline passengers during the holidays.

November 16 2011 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ss1591

So if you become a freak you get a TV show? This is the perfect example why the IRS needs to stop the dependent deduction at a family of six. All of us get to help support their decisions because they cant be paying a dime in state or federal taxes. When they were on the news all of the older children helped raise the younger ones while mom took her alone time and her book writing time.

I bet her book goes like this:
Chapter one:
We had sex this morning and then took a break and had sex again we need a nap. We woke up for lunch to have sex again because we need number 21 for another tax deduction, my husband popped a couple purple pills because this is like going to the bathroom now, the joy has gone out of sex!
We have a doctors appointment this afternoon it is paid for by our major medical that doesn't charge after two kids (this is like a 1000 pound man a an all you can eat buffet). The doctor told be that I may have lost all my muscle control down there, that is why my barbies just fall out when I stand-up. My husband tied a net to my breasts just below my knees they sag a lot now so they are perfect for this.

I really love kids this is why my older daughters really take care of them and never want to see another baby for as long as I live but we need 20 more so we can inbreed and have our own country!

Wow now we get paid another $500 a week for another kid from the producers!

November 15 2011 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alawsbirch

If they had adopted 20 kids, then I would be impressed.
Of course, they are home-schooled; why let them see how normal families live?
However, the parents don't ever have to worry about being called into the principal's office for a conference!

November 15 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

If she dies in childbirth, I'm sure that episode will get GONZO ratings. Heck, I might even watch that one.

November 15 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Vickie Ashton

I don't know what the hub bub is all about. This family has always taken care of their family without assistance from anyone. They are very frugal people who live within their means. Having a large family is not a crime and their are OTHER large families in our country. The Dugger children are loved and well cared for which is more than many families with 1-2 children can say. If you don't like the show then don't watch it. It's that simple but otherwise leave these good folks alone.

November 15 2011 at 1:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cris

LEAVE THEM BE , THET AREN'T ON WELFARE , THEY SUPPORT THEIR KIDS MORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY . MORE POWER TO YOU GUYS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HONESTLY DON'T SEE HOW YOU DO IT

November 15 2011 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cris's comment
ss1591

No we pay for them by providing a $3000 a year tax deduction so they pay nothing in taxes. So unless they don't take their deductions we are providing welfare to them.

November 15 2011 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tamara

No body has to interfe in thier decisions ,they really aren't asking for support or input.

November 15 2011 at 11:50 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
bob

She's a freakin " puppy mill " !

November 15 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

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