Climate Change and Contraception

Lisa Hymas:

Richard Cizik has a knack for irritating right-wing evangelicals. He knows just how to do it, being an evangelical himself, though no longer one with standard right-wing political views.

Cizik was a key leader of anevangelical Christian movement calling for climate action and “creation care” a few years ago, when he was vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. Some religious-right bigwigs tried unsuccessfully to force him out of that job in 2007 because of his environmental activism, and then ultimately succeeded in forcing him out in 2008 because he endorsed gay civil unions (oh the horror!). Cizik bounced back by founding the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, which advocates for social-justice causes including human rights, health-care access, and an end to war.

Cizik’s latest campaign is sure to push right-wingers’ buttons: He is advocating contraception as a means to combat climate change (as well as achieve lots of other worthy goals). “Family planning is a green technology,” he told me during a recent conversation.

"The thing that bothers me about items such as the accusations and reactions in this ..."

Thank You Rod Dreher, Shame On ..."
"Hi John. I actually believe the Bible can be interpreted to convey an egalitarian view. ..."

What Women Want (Leslie Leyland Fields)
"Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.Nonsense. Evangelicals all over the place are perfectly happy to admit ..."

What Women Want (Leslie Leyland Fields)
"Is it necessary to view the Bible as fallible in order to be an egalitarian? ..."

What Women Want (Leslie Leyland Fields)

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Craig

    “Right-wing evangelical” is starting to sound like “outdated VCR.”

  • Phil Miller

    I’ve got to say, it’s always somewhat perplexed me to hear contraception as being referred to as a button-pusher for Evangelicals, even right-wing ones. My family is pretty fundamentalist, and I grew up around fundamentalists, and I never heard anyone say that Christians shouldn’t use various birth control methods such as the Pill. In fact, they actually encouraged it. It was always those crazy, Mary-worshiping Catholics who had a problem with birth control…

  • Bob S.

    Everyone has their ideas on how to save the planet. I’m just happy no one went full force about 40 years ago when we thought for sure an ice age was coming.

  • Charlie B

    Not sure how green some hormonal contraceptives are…evidence mounting that in human waste, the hormones are getting into the water supply. But some would rather a woman pollute her own unique ecology than, with her husband – excuse me, partner – develop the virtue to practice a natural, FertilityCare method. Its green as green can be. Problem is its use and effectiveness is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented.

  • CGC

    Hi Everyone,
    It seems to me the polarization that has typically existed between using contraceptives is a sin to people can use contraceptives whenever and however they want as a personal choice both seem problematic to me. I can’t speak for Catholics but as a Protestant, this is just another issue of people choose the size of their family and God is simply supposed to bless it.

  • AHH

    So comment #3 won’t sit there alone where somebody might believe it, the anecdote from climate-change deniers that 40 years ago scientists thought the globe was cooling is flat-out false. Christians who don’t want to bear false witness should stop repeating it.
    There were a couple of scientists who suggested that based on a temporary plateau in temperatures, but even back then the majority of scientific opinion was that our burning of fossil fuels was pushing the climate to higher temperatures.

    As a semi-aside, I think this falsehood may gain plausibility with some who remember the talk of “nuclear winter” in the 1980s, which referred to cooling as all the stuff put into the atmosphere by a nuclear war blocked sunlight (like the eruption of Krakatoa did to some extent). But of course that has nothing to do with the current climate-change issue.

  • Holly

    Oh, boo and a hiss.

    The American birth rate has plummeted in the last five years….even among immigrant groups who usually have a higher rate. We aren’t projected to have enough youngsters to pay for our seniors in years to come. (You all may thank me. I’m not a right-winger and I’m not Catholic, but with nine kids, I’ve produced enough workers to pay social security for at least 4.5 seniors in years to come. Even better news – they all are great workers and know how to earn, save, and give a buck. They all have savings accounts and they all support children through sponsorship programs via their hard summer work in the cornfields of Indiana. )

    Cizak’s view is one of seeing people as consumers or takers, rather than as givers.

  • Holly, you are so brave!! 🙂 I mean that sincerely!

    Cizik isn’t that far afield when we look at some of the findings re global environment. I think Cizik wasn’t quite as sensationalist in his paper or interview as this article makes him out to be. We, in the US, are over-consumers of goods and energy, generally speaking, and in the rest of the world over-population problems can and have contributed to worsening air pollution due to the open fires which are frequently used for heating & cooking. So, a side effect of contraception may be environmental – I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, though. We’re terrible at using up any slack we’re given and taking more.

  • Holly

    I would like to apologize – in my incredulity I personalized the issue rather than engaging the article.

    Let me engage the article:

    The reason evangelicals (even moderate evangelicals such as myself) eschew global funding for birth control is that it does not solve a systemic problem (which is not limited to third world countries but is magnified there) – and that is the problem of men not being faithful, of men not respecting women, of men treating women as property and abusing them in many, many ways. The provision of birth control simply allows this to continue, leaving men without responsibilities. The removal of responsibility doesn’t really help. Women are still mistreated, still misused, still bear the brunt of childbirth and childrearing. It’s behavioral change without heart change. Why should the US get involved with social engineering in other countries? Shouldn’t this be left up to the sovereignty of other nations?

    Does the availability of birth control reduce abortion? I don’t know – you can find research to support anything you want to say. Self control and abstinence always work….

    I suspect Cizak will find some support in his endeavor. Most Christians use birth control. How much support? Difficult to say.

  • He has a good point, especially in the US. Because we over-pollute so much, we contribute much more than someone in a developing nation. Many people there don’t have cars, and have far fewer resources.

    I became convinced of the need for “creation-care” after a few trips into Southeast Asia – the trips had nothing to do with environmental issues, but the sheer impact of the environmental damage of factories making goods mostly for Americans hit me hard. I have written quite a bit about it on my blog. It was the sheer vastness of the damage I saw in Bangladesh, Indonesia, China etc. that led me to advocate for it now.

    Kerosene lanterns are slowly being replaced in India and other places with solar etc. Bangalore India is trying to go at least 80% renewable. Koh Samui, Thailand is as well. Much of the pollution in many developing countries (and I have been in somewhere around 40 of them) has to do with manufacturing – for the US often. An American’s footprint is far and beyond what anyone in a developing country will produce – partially because much of the pollution in the developing countries is quite simply because of us.

    With this knowledge, I have tried to buy sustainable products for our baby as much as possible. Birth-control allowed us to delay children until mid-thirties (we got married in late twenties, so I guess we had already pushed it back as result). I know Christians have many frustrations with this idea – it was personal though – much of it driven because I couldn’t deny what saw personally. It is one thing to see it theoretically, its quite another to have tea with someone who is worried about rising floodwaters contributing to the salination of their tiny farm.

  • To answer #9 Holly –

    Why should the US get involved in the sovereignty of other countries – perhaps we shouldn’t. But we contribute to many of their problems – maybe we should reign in and curb our own excess? Should we request that those workers be treated fairly if we are going to purchase from them? Is that unreasonable?

    The environmental issue to me is a secondary one – I definitely believe in it, but what I am most concerned about is the Human Rights violations, the trafficking and slavery and land degradation that we directly contribute to by buying at places such as Wal Mart. What is our ethical duty? If by helping with contraception, and creation care in other countries it helps to curb the human rights violations that we contribute to through our excess shouldn’t advocate it?

  • Diane S.

    As far as the issue of world hunger goes, contraception is definitely an aid to curbing that problem. As a mother myself (Only two kids, not a football team), I cannot imagine that another mother in a third-world country would not, if given the opportunity, gladly use contraceptives instead of bringing another child into the world that she is unable to feed and care for. I can only imagine the agony they must feel night after night, listening to the cries of their hungry children and being totally helpless to provide for them.

  • Percival

    On the other hand, some conservationists are rethinking their Malthusian assumptions. Michael Kruse posted this on his web site recently.

  • Joe Canner

    Holly #9: You may be right that providing contraception won’t change the hearts and minds of the men, but there is plenty of research that shows that educating and empowering women (which can’t happen if they are having children) has a significant positive effect on health and economic development.

  • Steve

    As a Catholic myself, maybe I can add a few thoughts:

    We should always treat babies in the way that Scripture treats them, as blessings from God. Further, we should always treat fertility in the way Scripture treats it, as a blessing from God.

    Rather than treating fertility as a pathology, Catholic teaching puts it where it belongs. Babies are a blessing. Sex makes babies. Together, spouses learn to respect each others bodies and treat fertility as a gift, not as a pathology to be medicated away.

  • Mike M

    Steve: while this isn’t a forum for RC vs. Protestant, the official RC position that even thinking of your wife as a sexual being is a sin is just unnatural and not even worth arguing about.
    I read the article and it seems to me that the argument is about whether the government (any government, including ours) should fund birth control or not. I think not because it’s not Constitutional, but it may be in Bangalot, Asia so it would be up to that sovereign country to fund OC’s or not.
    And BTW, it’s because of the RC stand on contraception that AIDS is so prevalent in Uganda. Reminds me of the Monty Python song “Every Sperm is Precious.” But not as funny.

  • I have heard Steve, from other Catholics that they suspected the churches stance had more to do with ensuring there were more Catholics in the future (as numbers were declining at the time) than it had to do with truly valuing fertility as sacred. Curious if you have heard this or have thoughts on it?

    Mike M, many countries in the world have contraception and BC policies and administration because we, the USA force them to. It is a practice riddled with all sorts of assumptions and racism. We actually contributed to China’s one-child policy and Indira Ghandi’s (India) sterilization of the poor campaign. In fact, we even encouraged the gendercide problems in Asia figuring if a portion of the population couldn’t reproduce by default, all the better! In the meantime, we make it harder for US women to get or afford birth control. Manifest Destiny at all? See the book “Unnatural Selection” if you would like more info on this. It’s well documented.

  • Mike M

    Thanks Joy. I will.

  • Holly

    You know, I used to think that poor mothers in poor countries would not want to continue having babies – particularly if they had already lost children due to poverty-related issues. I’ve spoken with many missionaries who have urged me not to judge them for wanting more children (which I wouldn’t, but still appreciated the admonition…) Often mothers in tense and stressful situations DO want more children. Call it cultural or whatever we may – but they don’t necessarily WANT to stop having children. They love their children and really, children who survive will often prove to be their only security and provision in old age. Rather than contraception, they’d prefer better health care, and yes, better environmental care so that their land can produce more, and more education on how to care for their children.

    When I look at the future demographically, and at the trends occurring globally, I think the problem may be that people will be having too few children rather than too many. As living conditions improve, as people are brought out of poverty, as women are educated and given opportunities for business ownership – they generally have fewer children on their own, without pressure and without help from American Evangelicals (of whichever stripe.) Even environmental doomers have basically concluded that population will top out over the next 20-30 years. The nations which do not reproduce at replacement value will be hurting. America should still be a producer nation, but that is only due to immigration. I guess that rather than joining with Cizak in calling for more birth control, I’d ask the people of each nation what they really want. I so appreciate the ministries which empower people rather than limit them. That’s where I’ll put my dollars.

  • Holly

    Joy F., I have been very blessed to be able to travel extensively over my life too. To drink milk mixed with blood from a Masaii gourd, to step into their dung-covered hut, to spend the summer in a tent on an African plain and awaken to flamingos on the lake at sunrise…well….there’s no American centricism here. We do have so much, and by and large we do consume so much, and it is shameful. Maybe we need to work on educating our own vs. contracepting the world as Cizek suggests.

    But we don’t have to consume so much. I’ve chosen not to, as well. I’ve chosen children over things. (I also take care of my elderly parents.) I have no i-phone, no i-pad, no cable, no kindle, no microwave, no starbucks, no happy meals, no…many things. But I have such a lovely family and life. I live in a simple, little house, with a very small carbon footprint. Large families do not equate with wastefulness or irresponsibility to the global good. We LOVE to give, love to help others, love to see resourcefulness locally and globally – we truly do desire to help mothers and others around the world. I had a good, satisfying laugh today when I realized that the youngest one in my “football team” is wearing the same little red coat as my oldest one (now 20 years of age) did….and it was a hand-me-down from another family before that. We could have contracepted at least the last seven away – that would have seemed wise to many if not most -but oh, I am so glad we did not. When I see how God is working in their lives and what fantastic people they are becoming – what good He is doing through them – I’m staggered by my own lack of foresight and wisdom. I could not in my own humanity look ahead to this day and see how they would be reaching around the globe, funding health care and education and clothing for other children. My eldest is a computer programmer who sponsors a little girl in Tanzania. My second son is a musician who funds children’s programs in Haiti and in Uganda. My third child – a daughter – is 17 and she works all summer in the heat of a cornfield to sponsor a 17 year old girl in Kenya.

    There I went, getting all personal again. I know I’ll regret saying so much later – but I guess that I realize I have a unique perspective (not too many people have large amounts of children these days) and I want people to know that stereotypes aren’t really valid. As Steve said above, children really *are* a blessing! If people in other countries want birth control, I support that! If they don’t….we have no business pushing it on them.

  • Holly

    p.s. I apologize for the formatting and paragraph structure in the above block of text…it looked right (broken into paragraphs which made sense) initially but then I had to change from Firefox to Chrome due to some “cookies needing disabled” issue. It didn’t post properly.

    Speaking of cookies….think I’ll wish you all well and see if there are any left in the cupboard! 🙂

  • Holly, none of my questions were because of your particular family – people are certainly welcome to have as many children as they want.

    Part of the problem however, I see – is that many times it is not about what the mothers want at all. I talked to a mother in China who sold her daughter so that her son could have an education. There are women in Latin American countries who are under pressure to have more children because that is the only function that a woman serves. They have no value outside of motherhood according to society.

    While I have traveled in the past for missions, most of it is business and diplomatic work. Which means my kids will be consumers, and we are constantly moving and traveling for work, so more kids would mean a lot more resources consumed. I don’t like it, and try to do the best to limit it, but it the place I am in. Even so, if we weren’t would I choose to have more? Probably not. I came from a family of four and really didn’t like the lack of privacy, and constant noise. I never wanted a large family. This I think is just personal preference though. If someone really likes kids, by all means, go ahead. 🙂 But critically thinking about how much they will consume throughout their lifetimes by the simple virtue of being Americans is something we should consider, and teach as best as possible.

    There are just as many women who would say they would stop at one or two or none, as who would prefer to have many more. They shouldn’t be guilted for using contraception or not.

    What I think is the issue is that Cizik has hit a nerve on the resources for certain, whether that is taken to Malthusian or not, is just this – that we don’t even think about it because we are so used to doing what we want. The freedom to do so isn’t a right of everyone, but it is something we all contribute to. How do we ethically examine the consequences of our countries consumptionism?

  • Steve

    Mike M: ” the official RC position that even thinking of your wife as a sexual being is a sin is just unnatural and not even worth arguing about.”

    Do you have any citation for that being the official teaching of the Catholic Church? I’ve read Humanae Vitae and Pope John Paul II’s teaching on human sexuality (called the Theology of the Body) and the Church insists that men think of their wives as sexual beings. It also insists that fertility is a God-given part of that sexuality.

    Joy F: “I have heard Steve, from other Catholics that they suspected the churches stance had more to do with ensuring there were more Catholics in the future.”

    I’ve heard that, but I don’t buy it. The Church was very up-front about its motivations when Pope Paul VI wrote Humanae Vitae. The best paragraph to look at is number 17 – although I’d recommend reading the whole thing. It isn’t very long, sitting at 13 pages in size 12 font. The stated reasons all have to do with concern for a woman’s dignity, respect for the design of the human body, the unity between spouses, and the recognition of children as blessings.

    There was a time when I thought the Church’s teaching was nonsense. Over time, I confronted the Church’s thinking about the subject and realized it was Scriptural and made more sense than anything else.

  • Robin

    It is really sad to me to see so many progressives treating children and child-rearing as a “pathology” like Steve said.

    I am fine with birth control, I practice it, that is not the issue here. The issue is the underlying tone running through many of these comments…that children are primarily a burden, that it would be better if people stopped having them, that poor people in Africa are to dumb to figure out natural family planning, etc. The entire spirit of the comments is contrary to scriptures witness regarding the blessing that children, even football team sized families, can be to their parents.

  • Dave

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, necessarily, but I want to comment on two other comments.

    Diane #12, “…I cannot imagine that another mother in a third-world country would not, if given the opportunity, gladly use contraceptives instead of bringing another child into the world that she is unable to feed and care for.”

    Unfortunately this statement shows a complete lack of understanding of a large majority of the world’s views on having children, even among materially poor communities in the US. Most collectivist cultures (i.e., most of the world) and many materially poor cultures like in the US view having children as a social safety net for the future. Unlike the wealthy, meaning all of us, not just the so called “1%,” who rely upon public safety nets, in these cultures they see their children as the ones who will take care of them in the future. This is the prime mover behind the numbers of offspring.

    Now, this is not meant to take away from the abject poverty that they are bearing children into, just that the focus needs to be on eradicating poverty, not a misguided attempt to take away their future security.

    Joe Canner #9, “…but there is plenty of research that shows that educating and empowering women (which can’t happen if they are having children) has a significant positive effect on health and economic development.”

    I have no idea what has lead you to your parenthetical thought here, but I can’t imagine anything further from the truth. Being involved in domestic asset based community development in Dayton and internationally in Honduras, I have seen MANY women, most of whom have 3+ children with no husband, become educated and empowered, all while caring for their children. It is definitely easier with a husband in the picture, but to claim it can’t happen with children is simply false.

  • Patrick

    Another Malthusian! Save the earth from God’s imagers!

    If it is right wing( anti intellectual and 4 other terms) to see Malthuse and his followers as nuts, I am guilty.

    God won’t ever get to fill His big old house if Malthusians succeed.

  • Diane S.

    Dave #25 – Well, I think it is a very sad state of affairs when people have children only because of how it will benefit them personally rather than having children because they want to be the givers and pour our their lives into their children to impact them and in turn the next generation. Maybe that’s just my Western priviledged perspective speaking.

    But I can’t imagine any mother who truly loves her children not being moved by their suffering and wanting to put an end to it, but popping out babies like Pez dispensers just to have a retirement fund is only contributing to the greater problem of poverty and world hunger, not solving it.

  • Robin


    I really think you need to reconsider your phrasing in your second paragraph. It is very offensive.

  • Diane S.

    Sorry you found it offensive, I apologize – scratch the Pez dispenser part. The post I was referring to claimed that the “Prime mover behind the number of offspring” was indeed that the parents would be supported in their old age by these, if they survive into adulthood, that is.

    But for those in abject poverty – people who struggle provide even one meal a day for their families – are only perpetuating the problem by having more mouths to feed. And this is multiplied many, many times over around the world. There are many causes of poverty – it is a very complex issue, and just one aspect can’t be blamed. However, too many people and not enough to go around for all is definitely a contributing factor to the whole.

  • Kate

    I work as a dr. looking after severely malnourished kids in N.Africa. The main problem for most of them is too-sudden weaning because mum gets pregnant again too soon, and is unable to space births because of lack of contraception. It’s not a matter of reducing the number of babies per se, but of adequate spacing to allow the kids a chance to survive. Access to contraception would prevent so many of the deaths we see.

  • Steve

    “Unable to space births because of a lack of contraception.”

    I’m often confused by the way we talk about reproduction. We talk about babies as if they are a secretion naturally produces by the female body. I’m not sure if people realize that sex makes babies, not the absence of contraception. Another way to space births is to space sex. And yes, that can be done.

  • Holly

    Steve, I have been thinking the same thing. And that very fact (the ability to work around a woman’s fertile times) seems to deflate the entire “let’s fund contraceptives” argument. It is pointless. There’s no need. There’s a cost-free and very effective way (short of funding for educators) to teach women to space babies if they wish to. Why the request and guilt trip for evangelical dollars to purchase hormones (which someone above has properly pointed out aren’t “environmentally green” at all and may be harmful to all of us who drink the water) or prophylactics? What are the negative side effects for those who properly practice natural child spacing? (I said *properly*….) An occasional pregnancy – that’s what – but not as many children as with no spacing, and no hormonal disruptions, no implants, no nasty prophylactics (does anyone really *like* them?) Women really can be taught to listen to their bodies! Why is this fact ignored?

    Many cultures where *we* (Cizak, et al.) would like to introduce the availability of birth control are not receptive to birth control (particularly the males) but they might be receptive to child spacing by natural means (as long as it doesn’t appear to reduce their manhood.) Not trying to pick on males – but many of the third world cultures with large families are patriarchal in structure, and this is a big issue. It seems so…so….American to try to force what we think is best on other people.

    I stand by my much earlier comment regarding male behavior and the need for respect and proper treatment of women. I have been thinking about this, and if we were to translate the situation out of the third world and into the “first,” it would be as if we were saying “This high school girl is being molested or abused by several older men. Let’s give her birth control to make her life easier.” Or, perhaps, “Mrs. Jones’ husband is not being faithful to her. He has several mistresses on the side, and he has contracted AIDS. Let’s give Mrs. Jones birth control so she won’t have any more children by him.” Neither of these situations make sense. They are abuse. We’d simply expect to help the women get away from these men, to get the men to change their behavior. (First and third world problems do not always translate well. I think that sex and babies and cultural pressure and media affecting behavior are different things in the first world v. third world – and Cizak calls for evangelical support and funding in both places.)

  • Holly

    Kate, of course I respect you. You know your stuff. 🙂

    Is it not valid, however, that in order to keep fertility at bay thru 18 months post-partum (and often much longer) a mother should go no longer than 4 hours between nursings – even throughout the night? (Three being safer…) I am aware that nursing alone does not do anything to prevent the return of fertility, but proper timing of nursing is very helpful, and it’s a fairly simple thing to teach.

    For the record, I’m *not* against contraception. If women want it – that is fine! I don’t think people should feel *guilt* either way. Let each couple work this out between God and themselves. I’m simply saying that I’m very uncomfortable with the shift in thinking which says that Christians need to become pressured into voluntarily reducing the size of their family because of world resources, and that’s where the conversation (not this one, the larger one…) seems to be headed. To be honest, there are times when I think the easiest answer *is* to hand out birth control; I do feel pain for women who have so much to carry with very few resources. But then, I am also unsure that it is our *duty* and where the Church should be focusing by and large. Let’s call men to accountability. (We’ve sort of had this conversation before, haven’t we?)

    Joy F., no worries. I didn’t think you meant me. This is just a conversation….one in which I don’t mind having a voice. 🙂 Sometimes it’s good to hear other perspectives, and hear why people do what they do. God bless you. 🙂

    I do think that what we’re both expressing is simply the flip sides of a coin. Two ways of looking at life. Either people are born and they consume and any child we co-create with God will be consumers (and that’s a terrible thing…) or people are born and they are marvelous creations and they bless their parents and they leave the world a better place than when they arrived. Either the resources are absolutely finite (and we should still be using whale oil rather than flipping a switch and writing in clay than using a computer) or resources should be carefully tended but used wisely to fuel the next level of human ingenuity and innovation. Americans might use more fuels, but they might also give us tomorrow’s brilliant new technologies which lift the standard of living for *all* people around the globe and which also don’t require the use of fossil fuels. I’m a hopeful, hopeful person. 🙂 Yes, we can. 🙂

  • Holly


    As a human PEZ dispenser with a wicked sense of humor and sarcasm, I didn’t find your comment offensive. It made me smile. You can’t even begin to believe the comments I’ve heard and absorbed over the years. (And yes, I know that comment wasn’t directed toward me….but I do fit the genre.) I realize that most people just don’t understand. I guess what I find sad is the general, overall, low-view of life which says that there are “too many mouths” to feed in the world and that there’s not enough to go around. I live in a place where I can drive an hour in three directions and not come across a town with a population over 5,000, where there are fields, fields, fields in every direction. We have enough. The problem isn’t usually lack of contraception or too many people – it is most often sinful human hearts whether that it is bad government, caste systems, injustice, religion, terrorism or any number of things which creates poverty and an inability to till the earth to grow enough food for a local population.

    Joe Canner – thanks for your personal response. But Gosh darn it, now I’ve got to spend time today tearing up my diplomas with the little summa cum laude stickers on them. Someone forgot to tell me that mothers can’t get an education. And my kids need to write the girls they sponsor (and help educate) and tell them that they might as well give up and stop going to school, that it’s all hopeless unless they have contraception.

  • Diane S.

    Holly – Thank you for your comment 🙂 It is sad that there is an overall low-view of life, I agree. It disturbs me that in many countries children have little value other than what they can someday give back to their parents; the practice of abandoning baby girls because parents want a boy… Not to mention the whole problem of children being sold into slavery. It is a wicked, broken world…

    I’m not against poor people having children…but I do have a problem with people in very dire circumstances reproducing, such as the parents whose children die because of malnutrition, who in turn produce more children who will only meet the same fate as their siblings.

    Anyway…I think I have said enough. I’ll stop now and let someone else take over. 🙂