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RELEASE: The Impact of the Sequester on Women and Families

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Contact: Katie Peters
Phone: 202.741.6285
Email: kpeters@americanprogress.org

Washington, D.C. — If Congress fails to act by March 1 to protect critical programs, millions of women and children across the United States could be stripped of critical support and services, according to a new state-by-state analysis released today by the Center for American Progress.

“By refusing to replace the sequester with smarter spending cuts, conservative members of Congress are continuing their track record of sacrificing the lives and livelihood of millions women and their children to protect millionaires and special interests. Congressional inaction would prevent women from accessing health care programs and child care assistance,” said Tara McGuinness, Senior Vice President for Communications at the Center for American Progress. “If Congress leaves the sequester un-checked millions of women, in every state in the nation, will pay for the inaction of a few members of Congress.”

The massive across-the-board cuts known as the sequester would eliminate more than $400 million from Head Start, a program that provides at-risk preschoolers with education, health, and nutrition, and supports families across the United States including low-income single mothers. These cuts would force roughly 70,000 young children out of the Head Start program.

The sequester would also slash nearly $725 million from Title I funding—the largest federally funded education program in the United States—meaning schools serving more than 1 million disadvantaged students would be left struggling to pay for teachers and tutors. The cuts to Title I funding would impact 2,700 schools and place 9,880 teachers, many of whom are women, at risk of losing their jobs. Texas, for example, could lose more than $67 million in Title I education funding, meaning local schools could be forced to furlough teachers.

In addition to leaving many women at risk of losing their job and without child care assistance, the sequester would slash a number of federal programs that help women access critical health care programs. The program that provides low-income uninsured and underinsured women access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic testing would be cut by more than $8 million. Cuts to this program could mean more than 31,000 fewer cancer screenings for women, including 1,750 fewer screenings in North Dakota. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, also could be forced to cut almost 600,000 participants, endangering the health of our children.

For a complete look at CAP’s sequestration analysis, click here.

Related resources from CAP:

To speak with CAP experts on this topic, please contact Katie Peters at kpeters@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6285

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

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