Sequester Targets Education, Violence Prevention Programs, Child Care
On Sunday, the White House released a comprehensive list of the impact the possible sequester cuts will have on each state if an agreement is not reached by Congress before March 1st. The list revealed shocking cuts to programs heavily relied upon by women in each state.
If the sequester goes into effect, one of the hardest hit areas will be education. California, Texas, and Florida will see the largest decreases in funding of public K-12 education, risking an estimated 2,890 teacher jobs at the grade school level. These states also could see large decreases in funding for programs focusing on education for children with disabilities. Higher education will also be impacted by reduced funding in financial aid and work study jobs that benefit primarily low-income students.
Another program that is set to be cut under the sequester is the STOP Violence Against Women Program. This program was created under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994, and provides grants to violence prevention programs. The three states that would see the greatest cuts in the STOP program are California, Texas, and New York. These three states alone could lose funding that would benefit an estimated 6,700 victims of violence. A total of $13 million would be cut for violence prevention across the country.
Sequester cuts will also impact government funding of child care programs. New York, Texas, and California would again be the three states most impacted by these cuts. Child care program funding is essential for working families that cannot afford private child care. In addition, California, Texas, and Florida would also see the largest cuts in funding for child vaccinations. An estimated 32,990 children would not be able to receive vaccines.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .