State Law to Require Public Schools to Provide Free Menstrual Products

State+Law+to+Require+Public+Schools+to+Provide+Free+Menstrual+Products

Emily Aquino, Reporter

In October, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law requiring all public schools to provide free menstrual products to students in grades 6 to 12. This law will go into effect at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. 

California State Universities will also be required to follow this law, as well as community college districts. The law states that there shall be at least one designated area where students can receive these products that is at an accessible location on the campus. Hopefully, this law will encourage private institutions to follow in the footsteps of public schools.

There was a previous law which required low-income schools to provide free menstrual hygiene products.    

California views access to menstrual products and other essential care as a basic human right. Menstruation is a biological event that women have no control over. We don’t have a say when it starts or how it makes us feel. It is in our biology. 

Menstruation makes us have to stop and focus on this issue occurring within our bodies. Being able to have free access to these products allows us to not have to worry so much in dealing with it. Accessibility relieves some of the anxiety of having our periods.

Along with menstruation comes the added cost of dealing with it. California has decided to eliminate the taxation of menstrual products. It has been estimated that women spend about $20 million a year on feminine products. According to a prominent study conducted earlier this year, 23% of teens struggle to afford period products

Having limited access to menstrual products is a global issue. In 2020, Scotland became the first country to offer tampons and pads for free to their citizens. Hopefully, other countries will follow in their footsteps.  

Feminine products are available in the health office for those who need it.