A New York City Councilwoman is joining a the movement to destigmatize periods by proposing legislation that would require the city to make tampons available to girls at school. The Post reports:
“In a city where we hand out free condoms, we should be making tampons more affordable and accessible,” said Ferreras, a Democrat who heads the council’s Finance Committee.
“We should make them available in school bathrooms. It can take away from the shame, the taboo.”
This is a very small but helpful step in addressing women’s health needs. You don’t have to pay for toilet paper, but in many public restrooms, you do have to pay to access pads or tampons in public restrooms. Take LaGuardia, which in 2013 was examined by Free the Tampons’ Nancy Kramer:
Kramer, who has become a student of women’s restroom amenities, spotted evidence of a glaring deficiency at LaGuardia Airport.
“There was a sign that said feminine-care products may be purchased … in the main terminal or in all concourses,” she said.
So women already stressed by the untimely arrival of a menstrual period and trying to catch a plane also face the prospect of sprinting the equivalent of several city blocks.
“The whole thing is just kind of crazy.”
New York currently imposes sales tax on toilet paper and femenine hygiene products — but not products like Motrin, condoms, or sunscreen. Ferreras’s legislation would look to also remove sales tax from all feminine hygiene products, while Councilman David Werpin (D-Queens), is attempting to remove the sales tax from toilet paper.