New York City passed the nation’s first legislative package to guarantee the ease of access to menstrual products in shelters, correctional facilities and public schools, according to a New York Times report.
The package sets a momentous precedent for American women’s health rights, adding to the nationwide trend of implementing public policy to make women’s menstrual necessities more affordable.
On June 15, the American Medical Association released a statement calling on states to make menstrual products exempt from sales tax. And out of the 40 states that have a tampon tax intact, 15 sought to change it.
For homeless women, this is essential humane treatment. Lack of access to menstrual products creates even more unsanitary and unhealthy living conditions on top of other obstacles.
Locally, there has been a surge in awareness on this issue with organizations such as ‘No Taboo. Period.’ collecting tampon and pad donations to give to impoverished and homeless women.
The project, started in 2015 by five undergraduate University of Maryland students as a part of the school’s annual ‘Do Good Challenge,’ collected $300 of money donations and more than 2,700 pads and tampons for women’s shelters in D.C.
It is yet to be seen if this New York City initiative will have a domino effect on other major cities to take action and address these health necessities through public policy.