Natalie JEFFCOTT

NYC Will Become The First City To Provide Free Menstrual Supplies To Public

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When I first got my period at 13 years old, my dad had to come pick me up from school and spend what was perhaps the most awkward 15 minutes of his life helping me pick out tampons at CVS.

This was all because my school didn't have any menstrual supplies in the bathroom and none of my friends had any on them so what else was I supposed to do? It also didn't occur to me that I could just roll up some toilet paper and maybe spare my dad this horrible life experience but that's neither here nor there.

Well, today, 13-year-old girls in New York City (and their dads) have officially been spared the urgent shame that goes along with getting your period for the first time as the city has become the first in the nation to pass legislation to provide free menstrual hygiene products in public schools, correctional facilities and shelter bathrooms.

This is huge news, you guys. Tampons and pads can go for as much as $10 a box at local drug stores and bodegas, making them totally unaffordable to lots of New York City public school students. People in homeless shelters can also find themselves equally unable to pay such high prices.

Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who worked on the legislation, expressed the fiscal significance of the bill in her statement, "This package makes our City a more fair place." She hopes that the legislation will set a precedent for other cities to follow.

It is no coincidence that this provision is coming at a time when cities across the nation are eliminating sales tax on feminine hygiene products. While New York State is very close to eliminating these taxes, the city decided to take matters into their own hands with this wonderfully extreme measure.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito expressed her high regard for the new legislation, “Whether it's in public schools, shelters or even our city jails, giving women access to these products is a no-brainer and long overdue.”

We agree, Melissa.

Citations: COUNCIL TO VOTE ON LEGISLATION EXPANDING ACCESS TO FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS (The New York City Council), NYC Makes History With Law Providing Free Menstrual Products (Advocate)