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My Womb for God's Purposes: The Perils of Unassisted Childbirth in the Quiverfull Movement

Distrustful of experts, many Quiverfull followers are leaving childbirth to God. The recent death of a newborn, however, exposes a growing rift.

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Similarly, as Vyckie Garrison noted, her Quiverfull convictions led her to desire total reliance on, and trust in, God, neglecting her own instincts and health in favor of obedience and submission. “Our deeply beloved belief system denied us an important safety net,” she wrote to Carri Chmielewski, “that of our own feelings. When our bodies and minds screamed out, ‘Something is wrong!’ our faith calmed us down.” And in some cases, that calm, the “peace that passes all understanding” of trusting entirely in God, can be very dangerous indeed.

Kathryn Joyce is the author of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement (Beacon, 2009).