In the name of “Right to Life” Quiverfull moms could lose their lives

In June of 2008, Vision Forum posed the following question from their Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy on its website:  “If abortion is the murder of a human being, is it biblical to oppose all abortions?”  The organization addressed this topic in a series of blog posts on the matter, determining definitively that tubal ectopic pregnancy did not justify surgery to remove the fatally compromised fetus along with a pregnant woman’s fallopian tube. 

Despite the medical fact that tubal pregnancies prove to be fatal to the fetus in all cases, the Vision Forum group determined that any surgery which ends any ectopic pregnancy to rescue the mother constitutes an elective abortion, unequivocally qualifying as a utilitarian decision which amounts to the murder of the already terminal fetus.  The group also improperly downplayed the incidence, morbidity, and mortality associated with tubal pregnancy.

Though the Catholic Pro-Life position supports surgical intervention in the case of tubal pregnancy to save the mother, Vision Forum’s dangerous position continues to spread throughout sectors within the Evangelical Christian community. 


Undermuchgraceby Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace

All images by Cindy Kunsman and Under Much Grace used with permission.

Editor’s note: Cindy has put a ton of work into compiling just about anything you could ever want to know about TLC’s the Duggar family. Posting this at NLQ so we can have a reference to all that is Duggar and Quiverfull. Thanks for doing this Cindy!

As part of a presentation, I decided to create what is essentially an online bibliography for those interested in background information about the Duggars, the Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFB), Gothard, Quiverfull, and the Troubled Teen Homes within the IFB. Information about them all can be accessed (more…)

CulpeperBaptistby Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Dr. Patrick Johnston is an Ohio family practice physician, founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians, and the director of Personhood Ohio. He and his wife have nine children, all of whom are homeschooled. Several years ago, Johnston wrote a rebuttal to a post that I published about my views on abortion and personhood laws. Johnston believes there are no justifiable reasons for women to have abortions. Rape? Nope. Incest? Nope. Life of the mother? Nope or maybe. Severe physical malformation? Nope. Ectopic(tubal) pregnancy? Nope Huh? That’s right, Johnston does not think women should have access to abortion services if they have an ectopic pregnancy. In a December 2015 Personhood Ohio article, Johnston stated: (more…)

JoeSandsby Joe Sands cross posted from his blog Incongruous Circumspection

Joe is now writing at Free Thought Blogs – catch all his latest writings there including his thoughts on the recent demise of Prince.

First part here

My continued response to Tom B….

I’m going to walk away from Tom B’s response to me for a bit and just sit down by this fire and have a chat with a little boy. Tom, you’re a little boy. You may be 20, but you have no idea how to live in the real world. Your rigid ideas of life may make you a disciplined young man, but it won’t go far in your relationships with the rest of humanity. (more…)

quotingquiverfullby Zsuzsanna Anderson of Are They All Yours? – Did I Already Mention I Hate IVF?

Editor’s note: As a woman who has seriously struggled with infertility while quiverfull, just like many of you here have, I find Zsuzsanna’s words mocking another infertile mother upsetting and vile. Where’s the love of Christ in any of this? One lesson learned through the years is that things you throw rocks at because it’s a battle you do not have can become the same problem for you. Universal reciprocity or karma just seems to like to work that way. (more…)

by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

Sixteenmusser1 years ago, a baby was born in Bulgaria. At four months old, he was placed in an orphanage.   The orphanage young Tommy was placed at was hell on Earth.  The director “modified” the foods fed to the children to prevent them from growing normally.  By doing this, the director kept the children permanently in the youngest/weakest group of the orphanage where the orphanage received the most funds for the children.  Tommy was listed at age 15 as Male child at 15 years of age, with the following diagnoses: Infantile Cerebral Palsy – Hypotonic form; Severe lagging behind in the physical and neuro-psychical development; Severe protein-caloric malnutrition – unspecified; Ectopic [undescended] testicle – condition after surgery for correction.”  Tommy was slowly dying – and time was running out.  If he was not adopted by the time he turned sixteen in the spring of 2013, he would be considered an adult in his home country, moved to an adult institution, and be ineligible for adoption domestically or internationally.

Meanwhile in the United States:

Joe and Susanna Musser had nine biological children.  Their tenth child, a little girl named Verity, was born with Down Syndrome in 2010.  As the family watched Verity grow and develop, they began to consider adopting more children with special needs.  They saw a video about children who were barely surviving in a Bulgarian orphanage.  After completing the multiple steps required to adopt, the Musser family brought home Katie in October of 2011.  From the unconscionable neglect she had suffered at the orphanage, Katie was diagnosed with  “scurvy, severe anemia, atrophic skin, muscle wasting, severe osteoporosis, and multiple spinal compression fractures due to the severe protein-energy malnutrition she had suffered all her life. “

Verity, on the left, is 17 months old.  Katie, on the right, is nine YEARS old.
Verity, on the left, is 17 months old. Katie, on the right, is nine YEARS old.

With proper nutrition and intensive therapy, Katie has thrived and is much healthier, although her body and intellectual development have been permanently damaged from the years of neglect.

A year later, Katie, now 10, had out-grown Verity who is around 3.


Now, to adopt Katie, the Musser family went through the steps required of any adoptive family. A home study was conducted. Family finances were studied. Background checks and medical examinations of the parents were completed. To adopt a child, a family must make at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Since their family was so large, you add $5,075 for each additional person to reach the family size including the adopted child. In a domestic adoption, families need to produce three years worth of financial evidence showing income at or above the 125% guideline. For reasons that are never explained, the agency that the Musser family used either only used income verification for one year which was a higher than average year.

While the Mussers’ home-schooled most of their family, they sensibly recognized that Katie needed more than they alone could provide and sent her to a good program in the local school system and acted as healthy advocates for her.

musser5Meanwhile, Susanna found out about Tommy before June 15, 2012. Orignally, they hoped to adopt Tommy, but would not make the financial requirements that year. In her words, ” Our income last year was significantly lower than the stated income requirement for a family of our size. Not even within sight of that golden number”. Since Tommy’s situation was critical, Susanna used her blog to publicize Tommy’s plight since he was going to age out of adoption in less than one year.

In the meantime, she worked with the agency and the government to see if there was any way the Musser family could adopt Tommy.

  • The government agency suggested applying the value of their home, cars, savings and investments to boost their “income” to the required levels.
  • They asked their church leaders and friends for input on if the family was taking on too much by adopting Tommy. Their community gave their blessing.
  • The agency with whom they were working for this adoption did not require the same level of pre-screening as the previous agency (“(no psychologist visit, letter of employment, or local police clearance, for instance), and our home study doesn’t have to be written from scratch for Tommy”) (The agency that handled Tommy’s adoption is About a Child)

She also adapted her family’s way of life.

  • She hired “mother’s helpers” to assist her in housework and became comfortable with home visits from therapists.

On June 29,2012, Susanna was able to announce that they would be able to adopt Tommy.

  • The family reached out to a social worker who came from a large family with multiple special needs adopted children who completed their home study. The family had needed to do two home studies to adopt Katie since one agency refused to approve them due to family size.
  • Their medical and mental competence was assured by their family doctor.

Musser6 While in the process of adopting Tommy, Susanna found out she was pregnant again. She asked the agency if that would be a problem and was assured that it would not interrupt the adoption.

  • Susanna traveled overseas to fulfill the requirements of Tommy’s home country while very pregnant and with a severely sprained ankle.
  • She and a physical therapist friend assess Tommy’s actual level of development and teach the staff safer ways to lift children with fragile bones, how to use a gait trainer and bring lots of badly needed supplies.

A family picture was taken in March 2013 with a caption of the ages of their children so far:

musser7This picture was taken at the end of March, 2013. Back, left to right-Joseph, 19, holding Katie, 11, Joshua, 16, Joe, holding Stephen, 4 1/2, Susanna, holding Verity, 2 1/2, Daniel, 17 1/2, and Laura, 13 1/2
Middle-Jane, 11
Front, left to right-John Michael, 7 1/2, James, 6, and Peter, 6

Tommy’s adoption went through on April 9th, 2013 becoming their twelfth child and their third child with developmental delays.

Their 13th son, Benjamin was born on or around April 29th, 2013.

Tommy arrived home on June 17, 2013.

Musser8To visualize the ages of the children more easily at the time Benjamin was born (chronologically)

  • Joseph (19)
  • Daniel (17.5)
  • Joshua (16)
  • Tommy (16 – developmentally delayed to toddlerhood; has a seizure disorder)
  • Laura (13)
  • Jane (11)
  • Katie (11 – developmentally delayed to around age 2)
  • John Michael (7.5),
  • James (6)
  • Peter (6)
  • Stephen (4.5)
  • Verity (2.5 – minor developmental delays)
  • Benjamin (newborn)

Or to quote Susanna “We have four booster seats and four car seats in our big van. That’s eight little people who are developmentally age seven and under.”

A year later, Susanna was left alone with eight little ones who were at the developmental age of eight or below. Somehow, Tommy was left unattended for a period of time while he was in the bathtub. Tommy drowned. With Tommy’s developmental age and seizure disorder, he was at high risk for drowning in a very short period time in a small amount of water.

In my next post, I’ll look at the level of stress and exhaustion Susanna Musser was under prior to Tommy’s accidental death.

Read everything by Mel!

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

Quiverfull Topics

[Note: Categories with no articles listed beneath them are coming soon … :)]

√ Biblical Manhood & Womanhood


The God Card ~ Thoughts on Patriarchal Teachings


Sibling Relationships

The Godly Woman


Proverbs 31 Woman

Titus 2 Woman

Stay At Home Daughters (SAHDs) / Beautiful Girlhood

Femininity vs Feminism

Birth Control



Psalm 127 / Quiverfull: Be Fruitful & Multiply

Child Training

Biblical Chastisement

Sheltering Children





Christian Modesty


Courtship / Betrothal

“Taking Her Myself” A New Trend in Quiverfull Courtship / Betrothal by Vyckie

Emotional Purity

√ Quiverfull Counterculture

Biblical Holy Days

Debt-Free Living / Frugality

Demonic Influences

Dominionism / Christian Reconstruction


Family Integrated Church / Youth Group / Home Church

The Myth of Teenage Rebellion


√ Quiverfull Leaders

Michael & Debi Pearl – No Greater Joy

The Duggar Family

Rachel Scott (Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors)

√ Quiverfull Resources

Debi Pearl (Created To Be His Help Meet)

√ Quiverfull Ministries

Vision Forum

√ Quiverfull Discernment

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World (No Longer Quivering)

What It’s All About

There is no ‘you’ in Quivering

Testing the Spirit of Quiverfull

Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children

Kobayashi Maru ~ The No-Win Scenario

NLQ Reviews

Quiverfull & the Bible


Examples of Quiverfull Gone Wrong

Andrea Yates

Hana Williams

Lydia Shatz

Carri Chmielewski


√ Quiverfull in the News

Media Updates

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√ Spiritual Abuse & Recovery

Adventures in Recovery

Mental / Emotional Health

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√ NLQ Miscellany


NLQ Carnival Grandstand

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Tapati’s Body Image Workshop

Vyckie’s Posts

MOTH: Mayhem On The Homefront!

Vyckie’s Tour de Crap

Vision Forum Ministries (the not-for-profit arm of Vision Forum) capitalizes upon connotation and summarizes their family and Pro-Life oriented Mission Statement by describing themselves as Christians who follow patriarchy as well as their created concept of “multigenerational faithfulness.”

Trusting people often fail to recognize the darker doctrines beneath the pleasant pictures connoted including “Protestant Exclusivism,” their own version of Darwinian social engineering, and their view which defines daughters as a “dynamic means” for a man to “extend his influence into other covenantal family units.”  The group’s claims of an uncompromising Pro-Life status also beguile and mislead trusting followers while they concurrently recommend alternatives like stoning rebellious teens as well as the refusal of surgery for women carrying a life-threatening tubal pregnancy.



A follow-up to:

Vision Forum, Samaritan Ministries Take Extreme “Pro-Life” Position on Ectopic Pregnancies

Following the previous post about Vision Forum’s plans to advance their thesis regarding surgical treatment for tubal pregnancy before confirmed death of an unborn baby as the ethical equivalent of elective abortion, several insightful questions have been presented in different areas around the blogosphere including the NLQ Forum.  They are worth noting.

The discussion raised some interesting questions about the actual risk (morbidity and mortality) related to ectopic pregnancy as weighed against the chance of a non-tubal ectopic pregnancy producing a live birth.  Refer to this HERE at Under Much Grace which includes some great diagrams and statistics from sources including the CDC and Lancet.

Most notably, ectopic pregnancy accounts for 6-9% of all maternal deaths in the US. Assuming that these statistics also apply to other developed countries and those countries that do not provide state-of-the-art care to their citizens, this translates to a rough single year death rate of 25,000 worldwide (in 2008 based on Lancet’s estimate) due to ectopic pregnancy.

And the odds of a baby from non-tubal ectopic pregnancy surviving the pregnancy? One in 60 million. That means that worldwide (assuming a general birthrate of 134 million annually for the past 30 years), only one such birth occurs every 6.7 years, based on a now current and somewhat stable global birth rate.

Vision Forum will laud one baby every 7 years while 25,000 mothers die in one year? Hmmm.

This information out of Lancet and from the CDC paints quite a different picture than Samaritan Ministry’s publications when they reproduced Vision Forum’s new dogma.(I think Vyckie’s karma ran over their dogma!)


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