What the Government Shutdown Does to Women
The shutdown of the federal government is disastrous for millions of women, families, and households across America. A few examples:
- Almost 9 million mothers and children under five lost their vouchers for food, baby formula, and breastfeeding support under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC;
- Head Start and Early Head Start, which already lost 57,000 children due to the sequester cuts, has now lost another 19,000 children from the pre-school and child care program;
- Adult day care and child care centers run with federal funds have laid off workers, sent kids home, and closed their doors;
- Children sick with cancer will not be receiving experimental treatment that could have saved their lives due to the shutdown which prevents the National Institute Of Health from accepting new patients;
- Arizona has stopped all TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) payments, averaging $207 per week to about 5,200 families living in poverty;
- Domestic violence programs across the country, funded by public money under the Violence Against Women Act, are closing or cutting back on services, already greatly reduced by the sequester cuts.
As if this weren't bad enough, keep in mind that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) cannot now do its job of ensuring we have clean air and water. Federal inspectors of meat and produce cannot do their jobs, and a salmonella outbreak from infected chicken in California cannot be effectively responded to by the Center or Disease Control or the Department of Agriculture because of the furlough. Hundreds of people have gotten sick and nearly half of them hospitalized because of the food borne illness.
Closing down the federal government is costing us a fortune, and we will be paying for it for years to come. The men in the US Congress (and it is, by a vast majority, men) who are playing chicken with the lives and health of American women and children are behaving egregiously and causing unconscionable suffering. They do not deserve the offices they hold.
If you would like to stop the shutdown and send your elected legislators back to work, join the #JustVote campaign - find out more here, from the National Women's Law Center.
Sign me #disgusted,
Your (Wo)Man in Washington