Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President, March of Dimes on the Ongoing Government Shutdown

Washington, District of Columbia | Thursday, October 10, 2013

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding the impact of the ongoing government shutdown and upcoming debt ceiling limit on women, children and families:

“The March of Dimes is profoundly concerned about the impact of the ongoing government shutdown and impending debt ceiling limit on women, infants and families across our nation. The slow starvation of vital public health and human services is already degrading our health and safety, and those effects will only grow in the coming weeks. Failure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling would jeopardize both our nation’s economic stability and families’ wellbeing.

“Innocent Americans are already suffering from policymakers’ inaction. Desperately ill patients are unable to receive services at the National Institutes of Health; dangerous food safety outbreaks are not being investigated fully; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza vaccination programs are being disrupted just as flu season begins. Within weeks, hungry women and infants will no longer receive food vouchers from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). These effects will be multiplied many times over if the debt ceiling is not raised.

“It’s time for elected officials to step up and serve the best interests of the American people. The shutdown of vital government services represents a failure of governing. Policymakers should work together on a solution that helps, not harms, the most vulnerable among us.”

About March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs.

For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites and To participate in our annual signature fundraising event, visit If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.