The Duggars have gotten a lot of criticism over the years.
But no one has ever realistically questioned whether the Tontitown, Arkansas family is 100 percent pro-life, or anti-abortion.
Until now, that is. Diehard fans are questioning their views after being alarmed by the language used in a recent Duggar post.
Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth may never address those shotgun wedding rumors – at least, that’s how some fans are feeling.
Some believe that they’re not trying to clear the air because the story is true and they’re ashamed of doing the natural and healthy activity that almost every couple in the country does.
Others believe that they’re not speaking about it directly because they don’t want to give any weight to a false rumor.
Perhaps they fear that if they shoot down one rumor, they’ll be expected to respond to them all.
A more moderate view might be that Joy-Anna and Austin are biding their time and seeing when Joy-Anna gives birth. If it’s late enough, it might look like "evidence" that the couple waited until their wedding night.
The touchy subject of Joy-Anna’s due date was what brought about this post, which shocked numerous Duggar fans:
On the Duggar family’s official Facebook page, they wrote:
"Joy and Austin will soon be parents! Anybody have a guess when baby will be here?"
They then wrote:
"When it comes to arrival, these babies make up their own minds!"
On the surface, this is just a post about a pregnant Duggar daughter.
Dig slightly deeper, and it’s a set-up to give a plausible explanation if (or when) Joy-Anna gives birth earlier than her wedding date would "allow."
But did you notice the unexpected language from the Duggars? These fans did, and they were shocked.
One diehard Duggar fan commented:
"They are already parents! They’ve been parents since conception, because that’s when life begins!"
"(Just like to point that out, because life-affirming language is super important – and I know your family agrees on the sanctity of life!)"
That comment then continued, with some odd capitalization and hyphenation.
"God bless! Pregnancy is such a special time with Baby and so is birth! Praying for Baby and Mama on your upcoming big day! Have a very Happy Birth-day!"
Other commenters echoed the sentiment, "correcting" the Duggars.
"Life begins at conception."
"Human life begins before one has a heartbeat; of course, even if it didn’t, they’d still have been parents since nearly conception."
"Nothing controversial about that. It’s encouraging, actually."
So, to the anti-abortion crowd, the Duggars were odd to suggest that Joy-Anna isn’t already a mother.
By their beliefs, she’s been a mother since conception.
The Duggars haven’t been shy about mourning miscarriages with grave markers, as they might if a baby had died. (Which is totally their choice, folks — everyone has a right to grieve a loss in their own way)
Fans have noted the family’s apparent hypocrisy, grieving Jubilee while seeming to forget Caleb Duggar by calling Jubilee their "20th child."
And one commenter referred to that under the post about Joy-Anna and Austin:
"The Duggars are very pro-life. They turn up to abortion clinics and hold signs on the street."
"They choose to tell everyone else what should be considered life and then ignore one of the ‘lives’ they created. It’s hypocritical."
But perhaps whether or not Jim Bob and Michelle mention one child they never got to meet or another is beside the point.
For the Duggars to use the language that they did is odd for pro-life activists who usually use language designed to reinforce the idea that a fetus is a person already.
Were they just … tired? Did they task some intern or family friend to make the post on their behalf?
Fans can all agree that, for most families, the language used to describe Joy-Anna’s upcoming maternity wouldn’t be unusual.
But surely the entire world can agree that the Duggars are not most families.