Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2019

What is H.R. 1882: Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2019?

Introduced by Representative Meng in March of 2019, H.R. 1882 will increase the availability and affordability of menstrual hygiene products for individuals with limited access, and for other purposes. This happens through: providing free menstrual hygiene products to students; ensuring that all incarcerated individuals and detainees have access to menstrual hygiene products on demand and at no cost to the incarcerated individuals and detainees; ensuring that menstrual hygiene products are available for homeless individuals under emergency food and shelter grant programs; requiring menstrual hygiene products be covered by medicaid; establishing the requirement that all employers with not less than 100 employees provide menstrual hygiene products free of charge for employees; and require all Federal building have menstrual hygiene products stocked and free of charge in each restroom. 

Why do we need the Menstrual Equity For All Act of 2019?

According to Reuters Health, a study of 183 women with low incomes living in St. Louis, Missouri, found that 64% could not afford menstrual hygiene supplies at some point in the last year, and about 21% suffered with this problem each month.


According to a study conducted by OnePoll, the costs of menstrual hygiene products in an average menstruator’s reproductive lifetime can be up to about $6,360 or $13.25 per month from the average ages of 12 to 52. 


Many menstruators forgo menstrual hygiene products in order to afford other basic necessities.

  • Without tampons or pads, menstruators resort to using rags, toilet paper, or even adult diapers.

  • Poor menstrual hygiene can be devastating or even deadly, as it is linked to higher rates of cervical cancer and infections.


Especially in prisons, menstruators often have severely insufficient access to products like sanitary pads and tampons.

  • Menstrual products in state prisons are often of poor quality and minimal protection, resulting in higher needs for new products or improvising menstrual hygiene supplies.

  • These unhygienic substitutions can cause bacterial infections, diseases such as toxic shock syndrome, sepsis, and even lead to death.


According to the State of the Period study sponsored by Thinx and Period, many students would miss class rather than going to school while menstruating if they do not have access to necessary feminine hygiene products.

  • Cultural stigmas around menstruation cause embarrassment and shame for some girls.


The study also found that of 1,000 teenageers from ages 13 to 19, one in five could not afford to purchase menstrual hygiene products, two-thirds felt some stress because of their limited access to tampons and pads, one in four missed class because they did not have access to menstrual hygiene products, and 61% had word tampons for more than four hours.

View our issue one-pager here!

What can I do to take action to get this passed?

Call Your Senators and Urge Them to support H.R. 1882. We need to garner more support in the House so that we can pass this. Use your power as a constituent to sway their support! Find your House Representative and their numbers here!

Here is a sample script to use when calling your Representative: I am a constituent as well as a member of Generation Ratify, the youth-led movement to support Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and advance gender equality. I am calling you about H.R. 1882, the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019. 

Introduced by Representative Meng in March of 2019, H.R. 1882 will increase the availability and affordability of menstrual hygiene products for individuals with limited access.

 

In a study by Thinx and Period, it was discovered that out of 1,000 teenagers from ages 13 to 19, one in five could not afford to purchase menstrual hygiene products, two-thirds felt some stress because of their limited access to tampons and pads, one in four missed class because they did not have access to menstrual hygiene products, and 61% had word tampons for more than four hours. 


H.R. 1882 will provide free menstrual hygiene products to students, which will combat this horrific statistic that represents a barrier to education for young people. I urge the Representative to support H.R. 1882, the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019. 

Email Your Representative and Urge Them to support it! As mentioned above, we need to put the pressure on the House to pass this. Use this form to send an email straight to your Representative!

Call other organizers to contact their Representatives. After contacting your Representatives, help mobilize other young people to contact their's by phone-banking our registered members across the country using this phone-bank!

Talk about it on social media. Posting on social media is a great way to not only spread the word and drive people to action, but to also put pressure on our elected officials. Tweet it out by clicking this link!

Get out the vote for pro-gender equality candidates. This election decides the fate of gender equality legislation. We need a pro-gender equality majority in both the House and the Senate. Help us get there by empowering the youth vote and advocating for leaders that value equality for our Elect Equal Rights Campaign.

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