How the Government Shutdown Affects Women’s Health

By Rachel Walden |

The federal government shutdown is expected to have wide-ranging consequences on the health of women and their families.

Before we get to the bad news, an important reminder: Enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act by the shutdown.

Go to  to learn read about your options and to enroll. If you need additional information,  and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health both have resources that explain read about healthcare benefits for women under the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare (yes, as Jimmy Kimmel demonstrated, they’re ).

Now, here are the negative consequences:

– The WIC program that provides nutrition for women, infants, and children will not be able to take on new people and may .

– Likewise, the Administration for Community Living will  to fund programs in Senior Nutrition, Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services, Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect, and Protection and Advocacy for persons with developmental disabilities.

– Federal websites that provide health information to consumers, like and , are not being updated during the shutdown. The longer the shutdown continues, the read likely it is that these sites will have information that is no longer current.

– Researchers trying to answer questions about women’s health are also affected, meaning important research databases on medical topics may not be or updated at all.

– Clinical trials from the National Institutes of Health , possibly delaying important new discoveries in health.

– The FDA will be the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics reviews. While the agency is expected to continue managing emergencies and high-risk situations, it will not have the resources to deal with some inspections and less urgent product alerts.

– In addition, those who may have  —  — are hit directly, potentially making it harder for them to attend to their own health and that of their families.

Republicans tried to make restrictions on women’s preventive health care– including contraception coverage —  of not shutting down the government. As , “The country wants Congress to focus on jobs and the economy, not on pushing an extreme agenda against women’s access to health care.”

And we really don’t want to bargain away our health.

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