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  • Writer's pictureThérésa Obong

Menstrual Equity For All Act

On March 26th, 2019 U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced the Menstrual Equity for All Act. The bill addresses the different challenges that women and girls face in affording and accessing menstrual hygiene products right here in America.

The Menstrual Equity for All Act aims to address these challenges by:

Giving states the option to use federal grant funds to provide students with free menstrual hygiene products in schools – these grants already provide funding for health and wellness efforts;

Ensuring that incarcerated individuals and detainees in federal (including immigration detention centers), state, and local facilitates have access to free, unrationed, menstrual hygiene products;

Ensuring that no visitor is prohibited from visiting an incarcerated individual due to the visitor’s use of menstrual hygiene products;

Allowing homeless assistance providers to use grant funds that cover shelter necessities (such as blankets and toothbrushes) to also use those funds to purchase menstrual hygiene products;

Allowing individuals to use their own pre-tax dollars from their health flexible spending accounts to purchase menstrual hygiene products;

Requiring that Medicaid covers the cost of menstrual hygiene products for recipients;

Directing large employers (with 100 or more employees) to provide free menstrual hygiene products for their employees in the workplace; and

Requiring all public federal buildings, including buildings on the Capitol campus, provide free menstrual hygiene products in the restrooms.

“Period poverty isn’t just a monthly issue facing the 180,000 women living on the streets of our nation," said Dana Marlowe, Founder and Executive Director of I Support The Girls. "It extends to jails, the workplace, federal buildings and high schools, where women are denied free access to menstrual products. The reintroduction of the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019 by Congresswoman Meng will correct this inequity and allow all women to maintain their dignity and self-respect."

"Each year thousands of girls in our own community miss school due to circumstances involving their periods,” said Holly Seibold, Founder and Executive Director of Bringing Resources to Aid Women's Shelters (BRAWS). “Our organization, BRAWS, recognizes that an education is invaluable, and through our services, has been able to demonstrate that there is a direct correlation between access to menstrual supplies and an increase in attendance and academic performance. We are thrilled to see that the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019 includes a provision for students and we’re grateful that Congresswoman Meng recognizes that menstrual equity is not only a problem that exists today, and in our own communities, but that the solution is within reach."

This is a CALL FOR ACTION. Call your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor The Menstrual Equity for All Act. To find your Representative Click Here

A copy of Meng’s legislation can be viewed here.

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