Jill Duggar Dillard probably wasn’t aware that she offered her services at a women’s health center founded by Planned Parenthood during the finale of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. As many longtime Duggar watchers know, Jill’s family members have made it very clear that they aren’t Planned Parenthood fans because the non-profit organization provides abortions and various forms of birth control.
According to Us Weekly, Jill Duggar became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) license by completing a seven-hour comprehensive exam back in September. Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, were back in the States to enjoy a month-long visit with their families before heading back to the mission field in Central America.
During the final episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, Jill Duggar is finally shown putting her midwifery skills to use by volunteering at Manos Abiertos, a women’s healthcare center located in a rural town just outside of Antigua, Guatemala. Jill refers to it as “the local midwife clinic,” but it doesn’t just provide midwifery services. According to the Manos Abiertos website, it also offers half a dozen different contraceptive methods for women to choose from. Jill Duggar believes in leaving the number of kids that she has up to God, so obviously she isn’t a big fan of contraceptives. According to Salon, the Duggars are also against birth control pills because they erroneously believe that the pill causes abortion.
A user on the Freejinger website noted that Manos Abiertos was founded by Planned Parenthood, an organization that has been demonized for providing actual abortions.
“I wonder if Jill knows that Manos Abiertas, the clinic where she nodded and smiled while ‘examining’ a pregnant woman or two, was founded by Planned Parenthood,” Freejinger commenter halcionne wrote. “I just think it’s funny that TLC set up a ‘Jill practices midwifery in the mission field’ segment at a clinic that is actively trying to improve women’s health, lower birthrates, and give women more power over their lives when the Duggars are actively doing the opposite in the US.”
According to the Manos Abiertos website, the women’s health clinic was founded by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 2008.
The Duggars’ dislike of Planned Parenthood is well-documented. According to U.S. News & World Report, Jill Duggar’s mother, Michelle Duggar, slammed the Susan G. Komen foundation for funding Planned Parenthood during her 2012 appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The foundation said that its money was only being used to provide cancer screenings for women who otherwise would not be able to afford them, but Michelle ignored this detail and chose instead to focus on Planned Parenthood’s abortion services.
“This appalls me. I can barely sit still for this,” Duggar said. “It breaks my heart.”
According to Time, Josh Duggar also attacked Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards by accusing her of “lacking compassion.” Josh launched his tweet attack on Richards just days before he resigned from his position with the Family Research Council (FRC) in response to reports that he had sexually molested four of his sisters and another girl.
Luckily for the Duggars, Jill probably won’t be spending a lot of time in clinics like Manos Abiertas. Even though Jill Duggar worked hard to obtain her CPM license, she admits that she doesn’t plan on using her midwifery skills to help women give birth while she’s out in the mission field. Instead, she plans on “battling” old wives’ tales and sharing what she learned while studying to obtain her midwifery certification.
“I’m looking forward to using my midwifery skills to educate women in the area that we’re going to be in,” Jill Duggar said during the finale of Jill & Jessa: Counting On. “I don’t know how many births I’ll be doing, how many babies I’ll be delivering since I have my own little one, but I just hope to impart some skills and knowledge to other people there.”
Jill Duggar’s husband seems to agree that she shouldn’t be working as a midwife. According to Derick Dillard, it’s more important for Jill to use her education to spread the gospel, and he believes that Jill Duggar’s CPM license is nothing more than a ” ‘tool in the tool belt’ to use for the furthering of God’s Kingdom.”
“It’s important for us to not just get an education for the sake of getting an education,” Derick wrote in a blog post on the Dillard Family website. “That is not a true education. The purpose of any educational endeavor, whether primary, secondary, or post-secondary, ought to be to prepare to contribute to society, and for Christians, that means productivity for the Kingdom.”
Some might see Jill Duggar’s decision not to work as a midwife as a blessing in disguise. On her blog, obstetrician gynecologist Amy Tuteur labeled Jill a “counterfeit professional midwife” who is ill-equipped to deal with birth complications.
Do you think Jill Duggar knew that she was volunteering at a women’s health center founded by Planned Parenthood?
[Image via TLC/YouTube]