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'Worsening Plight of the Hungry'

April 24, 1985

Kostmayer's article is a welcome message of sanity, given Sen. Jesse Helms' (R-N.C.) amendment to cut aid for family planning in the Third World.

One might ask, what is it that motivates those who plead so vehemently for the right to life for millions, knowing that those same millions will be born into conditions of hunger, disease and destitution, to parents who do not want more children because they cannot provide for those they already have?

Is this not a cruel blow to deal to poor people, to withdraw family planning services when they are already struggling with more challenges each day to keep themselves and their loved ones alive than most of us face in our comfortable lifetimes?

The availability of family planning in itself has a crucial part to play in improving the health of mothers and children. Too many births too close together undermine the health and the nutritional well-being of both mothers and children.

At least, the right to life should include the chance to grow up. One-fifth of the children in the Third World are denied that right. They die before they are 5. In fact 40,000 of them die each day, every day, year in and year out from malnutrition and infection even when there is not a famine.

Surely, we must continue our funding for the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the U.S. Fund for Population Activities.



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