Sequestering Our Mothers: Spending Cuts and Effects on Women

Sunday, 12 May 2013 09:59 By Sue Sturgis, Facing South | Report
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Mother and child in black and white(Image: Mother and child via Shutterstock)Here is an index of how the sequester spending cuts will affect women and mothers in the United States, by the numbers.

Rank of low-income mothers, particularly women of color, among those expected to be hit hardest by automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March: 1

Amount the sequester will cut from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC: $333 million

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the largest percentage of households eligible for WIC's prenatal services: 1

Amount the sequester is set to cut next year from programs that fight domestic violence and sexual assault: $20 million

Estimated number of domestic violence victims who will not be served as a result of those cuts: 112,190

Percent of domestic violence victims losing access to those services who live in the South: 31

Amount the sequester will cut from women's health programs that primarily serve lower-income women: $86 million

Amount it will cut from the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, which provides prenatal care and other services to reduce infant mortality: $50 million

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the highest rate of premature and underweight births: 1

Amount the sequester will cut from the Safe Motherhood Initiative that aims to prevent pregnancy-related deaths: $4 million

Of the 11 states with the highest maternal mortality rates, number in the South: 5*

Amount the sequester will cut from Title X family planning and reproductive health services: $24 million

Of all poor U.S. women who obtain contraceptive services, portion who do so at a Title X-supported center: 1/4

Percent of pregnancies of women between the ages of 20 and 29 who live below the poverty line that are unplanned: nearly 50

Rank of the South among U.S. regions with the highest rate of unplanned pregnancies: 1

For every $1 invested in family planning, amount averted in Medicaid expenditures: $4

* 1. Washington, D.C. (34.9), 2. Georgia (20.5), 3. New Mexico (16.9), 4. Maryland (16.5), 5. New York (16), 6. Louisiana (15.9), 7. Mississippi (15.2), 8. Arkansas (14.6), 9. Delaware and Michigan (13.6), 10. Florida (13.1)

(Click on figure to go to source.)

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Sue Sturgis

Sue is Editorial Director at the Institute for Southern Studies, which she joined in November 2005 as director of the Institute's Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for the Raleigh News & Observer and Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.), Sue directs and regularly contributes to the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

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