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Pelosi: Congress must avoid sequester 'for the sake of America's women'

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"Cuts to women's health from pre-natal care to cancer screenings; cuts to services to victims of domestic violence ... cuts to initiatives to support children and families like WIC and Head Start," Pelosi said. "For the sake of America's women ... Democrats and Republicans must work together to protect the middle class."

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), head of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, warned that the education, healthcare and child care programs on the chopping block will all harm women more than men. Citing a report from the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group, DeLauro said 57 percent of public-sector jobs are held by women, who will consequentially be hit hardest by cuts to public programs.

"Allowing these cuts to pass is reckless, it's irresponsible and it is especially harmful to women, to their jobs and to the services that they rely on," DeLauro said.

The warnings arrive just one day before the sequester cuts are scheduled to take effect, with both parties this week conceding their inevitability. Indeed, leaders in both the Democratically controlled Senate and Republican-led House have done almost nothing substantial this week to avert the cuts, focusing instead on blaming the other side for an unwillingness to compromise.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the Republicans are arguing they fulfilled their obligation last year when they passed two bills to prevent the sequestration's defense cuts. They're blaming Senate Democrats for a failure to act now.

For more on Pelosi's comments, click here.