Speaking out against abortion is one of Derick Dillard’s Twitter themes, along with Bible verses, Jazz Jennings, and, most recently, a claim that he and Jill Dillard weren’t paid for appearances on the Duggar family’s reality show.
The former reality star also frequently engages with his social media followers, answering some of their questions about his beliefs and his plans for his children. This week, however, Derick jumped into a discussion as personal and medical (for Jill Dillard, actually, not Derick himself) as it is political: he spoke to confirm the circumstances in which he would support his wife seeking an abortion.
Jill Dillard is, like Derick, a former reality star, though unlike him, she grew up in front of cameras. Also unlike Derick, she grew up in a family of 19 kids. Born a Duggar, Jill was raised on the belief that family size should be a matter left to God, and her mother, Michelle Duggar, has blogged that she tells her daughters to never deny their husbands sex.
“So when you are exhausted at the end of the day, maybe from dealing with little ones, and you fall into bed so exhausted at night, don’t forget about him because you and he are the only ones who can have that time together. No one else in the world can meet that need.
“And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him. Smile and be willing to say, ‘Yes, sweetie I am here for you,’ no matter what, even though you may be exhausted and big pregnant and you may not feel like he feels.”
A belief in being “joyfully available,” combined with a belief against birth control, means that Jill Dillard, like her mother, is likely to be pregnant a number of times. However, Jill already has a history of difficult births. Mrs. Dillard’s first pregnancy culminated, according to People, in a 70-hour labor, a transfer from an attempted homebirth to a hospital, and a C-section.
Jill and Derick Dillard’s second child was born in July, 2017. This again involved a homebirth attempt, hospital transfer, and C-section, although with only 40 hours of labor this time, according to the Duggar Family Blog. More, the second baby Dillard suffered unnamed complications, which Derick recently revealed resulted in two weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.
None of this means Derick Dillard’s wife would have difficulties with a third pregnancy, but after two C-sections, she already has a reason for extra caution.
On Friday, Derick tweeted about a bill that would further limit abortion access in Iowa, calling the proposed legislation a step toward banning all abortions, which he characterized as murder.
Pressed, Derick compared abortion to suicide, which he asserted is illegal. Mental Health Daily reports that suicide is not currently illegal anywhere in the United States, though assisted suicide is limited in state laws.
Derick has previously compared abortion to murdering one’s husband.
This time, one follower pressed harder. What would Derick’s stance be if Jill Dillard was pregnant and had a serious complication? What if the choice came down to losing Jill and the unborn fetus together, or electing an abortion to end the pregnancy?
Derick agreed that he would support his wife in that case — but only if there was no other possible option that could save his wife’s life.
Dillard also responded to one follower who suggested that many of Derick’s fellow believers wanted abortion outlawed in all circumstances, even the one under which Derick said he’d support Jill seeking one. However, his response was ambiguous.
It’s not clear whether Dillard means that he doesn’t think fellow believers are against abortions to save the life of the mother, or if he means most of his fellow believers aren’t against a complete ban on abortion, regardless of circumstance. However, in Derick Dillard’s own post that started the conversation, he does say “all.”