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A dangerous gang of predominantly white men are holding America hostage. While members of Congress continue receiving hefty salaries for a job unfinished, millions of our most vulnerable communities are suffering.

Women, particularly low-income women and women of color, are carrying the burden of the government shutdown. A few examples:

     – The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was deemed “non-essential,” putting food, nutritional information and health care referrals in jeopardy for the nearly 9 million low-income women and their children who rely on it.

     – More than 20 Head Start programs have already closed, with more expected if the government shutdown drags on. Women across the country are experiencing a loss of educational and other services for their children, and an emergency need for child care in the absence of a caregiver.

     – Some federally funded domestic violence shelters have stopped receiving reimbursement for their services, including facilities in Vermont and Montana

This wouldn’t happen with women in charge – or with men who respect and support women. It’s time to end the dysfunction in Congress that is harming women so disproportionately.

The Ms. Foundation is taking over Congress! We’re telling House Speaker John Boehner what Congress would look like if women’s interests were equally represented.

We’d be celebrating the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with all aspects of women’s health care intact. We’d focus on expanding health care access to communities underserved by the ACA, particularly immigrants. We’d repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, equalizing access to abortion.

Enough of this nonsense! Join us in taking over Congress.

Letter to
Representative John Boehner
Dear Speaker Boehner,

Food security is in jeopardy for the nearly 9 million low-income women and children who rely on WIC. Mothers are frantic about the closing of Head Start programs, leaving them without options for their children’s education and care. And federally funded domestic violence shelters have already begun closing due to halted reimbursements.

Once again, women, particularly low-income women and women of color, are disproportionately being harmed by the failures of our Congress – a Congress run predominantly by white men lacking regard for our interests.

If women’s interests were equally represented, we’d be celebrating the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with all aspects of women’s health care intact. We’d focus on expanding health care access to communities underserved by the ACA, particularly immigrants. We’d repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment, equalizing access to the full range of reproductive health care services — including abortion.

Stop the war on women! End the government shutdown and treat women, particularly women from vulnerable communities, with the respect they deserve.