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Oregon's Menstrual Dignity Act

Oregon’s Menstrual Dignity Act, Free Menstrual Products at All Public Schools

September 15, 2021

On July 27, 2021, Oregon joined Illinois in the list of states requiring schools to provide free menstrual products through the passage of House Bill 3294, also known as the Menstrual Dignity Act. 

Signed into law by Governor Kate Brown, the Menstrual Dignity Act states that ‘all public institutions of education’ must provide free pads and tampons in school bathrooms starting this fall. With the growing awareness of period poverty, the goal is to help students who may be unable to access or afford such products and ensure that successful learning isn’t prevented from that essential need. The bill states that schools must have menstrual products available in a minimum of two restrooms for this upcoming school year. 

By July 2022, the rule will expand to require all public education institution restrooms to install at least one dispenser in each bathroom. In addition, schools will receive state funding based on the school’s student body size and the number of menstrual product dispensers needing to be installed. 

Oregon Representative and sponsor of HB 3294 Ricardo Ruiz emphasized the importance of inclusive language in the bill during a public hearing on March 16, 2021. This includes the push for allbathrooms—gender-inclusive and male—to have dispensers as well. Representative Ruiz stated that this bill signifies the much-needed change in how we view the public school system “from school-ready students, to student-ready institutions.”

Oregon State University’s Cascades campus started providing Aunt Flow dispensers before this bill was introduced, making the university the first higher-ed institution in Oregon to offer menstrual products to students free of charge. 

This bill isn’t the first piece of legislation to address issues that menstruators face in Oregon. In 2019, lawmakers put into effect a bill requiring adult correctional facilities to make pads and tampons freely available. Yet, this law didn’t apply to youth correctional settings. 

A similar bill to the Menstrual Dignity Act was proposed in 2019 but ultimately failed to pass, making this law a huge win for many student and youth advocacy groups who championed for it in years before. 

On November 17, the Oregon Department of Education developed the Menstrual Dignity for Students Toolkit to prepare schools in compliance with the state’s new legislation. Better yet, Aunt Flow was featured in the toolkit as a brand example for product dispensers!  

Principles and Administrators: Get a menstrual product program started at your school.

Students and Teachers: YOUR VOICE MATTERS. Advocate for freely accessible menstrual products at your school.

Stay in the flow — we’ll send you period positivity + timely updates on the menstrual movement.

claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 5 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®