EWTN Catholic Q&A
Deceased children
Question from lroy on 11-22-2013:

Why do media say Jackie Kennedy only had two children when in fact that she had four? Just because two have died (if you want to count the stillborn), doesn't make her have any less children.

I've heard the same with Michelle Duggar. The show says 19 Kids and Counting (but two died, so she really has 21 and Counting).

Why do people only count LIVING children/relatives?

Obits say So and So "had" two brothers-well So and So has and always will have two brothers, living or dead.

Very confusing and definitely a pet peeve.

Answer by Judie Brown on 12-06-2013:


The reason is that acknowledging the deaths of babies who are stillborn or miscarried might suggest that they are actual human beings and in our culture that is not the politically correct thing to do.

This seems wrong but in fact if the public begins admitting that those babies are just as human as the children who are born alive then folks would start to think there is something wrong with aborting them prior to birth.