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.
10/30/2014 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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .