Aunt Flow wants to give a big shout-out to the New Jersey state legislature and highlight their commitment to the Menstrual Movement! In the past month, New Jersey has introduced legislation, held a committee hearing and even hosted their first-ever Menstrual Equity Summit.
Keep scrolling to learn more about their contributions and about other states and even members of the US Congress who are joining Aunt Flow to make the world better for people with periods!
- Pennsylvania HB2896: Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, school entities may offer instruction on menstruation. The instruction shall be age-appropriate, medically accurate, offered to all students, regardless of their gender or ability to menstruate, comprehensive and inclusive to all individuals. On October 24th, this bill was referred to the Committee on Education.
- Pennsylvania SR351: The senate introduced a resolution in October that Period Action Day in Pennsylvania be recognized as October 8th, 2022. This bill urges the enactment of laws that provide access to period products at no cost to those who use them, including the Pennsylvania Menstrual Equity Act.
- New Jersey A1685: This bill would require the ingredients of menstrual products to be listed on every package or box that is sold or offered for sale in New Jersey. The information shall be displayed in a manner that is conspicuous and easily understandable to consumers. A3854 would also require an ingredient list and requires tampon packaging to contain printed warnings concerning the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
- New Jersey A1935:The Assembly Women and Children Committee unanimously passed legislation to establish a “Menstrual Hygiene Products Program”. In order to combat period poverty in their state, the Department of Agriculture would be required to develop and assist in the implementation of this program. The menstrual hygiene products program would provide annual grants to food pantries to provide period products to low-income individuals. Eligible individuals are anyone who is enrolled in any federal or state-level nutrition or low-income assistance program including but not limited to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the federal Women, Infants and Children program; and the New Jersey Supplementary Food Stamp Program. This bill allocates $200,000 to the Department of Agriculture to support the program.
- New Jersey A1938: This legislation establishes requirements for state entities to enter into bulk purchasing arrangements for menstrual products.
- New Jersey A3208: Unanimously passing out of the Assembly Women and Children Committee, this bill would require the Department of Human Services and Department of Health to submit waivers to the federal government to cover menstrual products under the state Medicaid program, the Supplemental Nutrition Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Currently, these programs do not pay for period products for menstruators. The bill also establishes state funding of $2 million if the federal waiver is denied.
- New Jersey A3211: The “New Jersey Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act” is moving forward to the Assembly Human Services Committee. This bill is intended to fight period poverty for menstruators facing housing insecurity. It would require that homeless shelters provide period products free of charge to menstruators residing in the shelter. There is an identical bill introduced in the senate (S2302).
- New Jersey A3212: This legislation would establish a Women’s Menstrual Health Screening Program to screen patients who have displayed symptoms related to menstrual disorders such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
- New Jersey S636: Requires school districts to incorporate age-appropriate instruction on menstrual toxic shock syndrome and requires installation of signage in certain women’s rooms to enhance public awareness of menstrual toxic shock syndrome.
- New Jersey A4528: The General Assembly introduced additional legislation to combat period poverty by requiring municipalities and counties with a lower-income population to provide period products in their libraries. Libraries will provide menstrual hygiene products in each women’s restroom and each all-gender restroom free of charge; and provide and prominently display educational pamphlets addressing topics including, but not limited to, toxic shock syndrome, menstrual disorders, and the proper disposal of menstrual hygiene products, in each women’s restroom and each all-gender restroom. Any costs incurred by a library will be covered by the state.
- New Jersey A4559: The General Assembly introduced A4559 to increase menstrual equity in schools. This legislation would require school districts to provide menstrual products for students in grades k-12 free of charge, in all women’s restrooms and all-gender restrooms, and in at least one men’s room. Any costs incurred by a school district in complying with the provisions of this bill will be covered by the state.
- New Jersey S3035: The New Jersey senate has also introduced a bill to establish the State SNAP Menstrual Hygiene Benefit Program. This legislation would address the period poverty bill by allocating $1 million of state funds to provide a menstrual hygiene benefit for all recipients of SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) to purchase period products. Currently, the federal SNAP program prohibits the use of benefits to purchasing these products. Eligible SNAP menstruators would get a state monthly benefit of $14 to purchase period products.
- HR8829: Congress has taken action to promote menstrual equity by introducing the Menstrual Right to Know Act of 2022. Introduced by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY), this bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to treat certain menstrual products as misbranded if their labeling does not list each component of the product.
Did you know that offering free menstrual products increases school attendance amongst girls by 2.4%? Want to advocate for Aunt Flow at your school? Email your school with our template or get a custom quote for your business!