A bill that will give free tampons and pads to females in schools, correctional facilities and homeless shelters passed unanimously in New York City, and Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated he will sign it into law.
The free tampon and pads bill, as reported by WPIX-11 news, will provide roughly 300,000 female students in grades six through 12 in the 800 public schools with the products. In addition, female inmates, girls in juvenile prison, and those in homeless shelters will also be provided with the feminine products.
The mayor praised the bill and lauded NYC as the first large city in the country to provide free pads and tampons on his Facebook page.
“New York City is now the largest city in the country to guarantee free tampons and pads at public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. My team is excited to work with the New York City Council to put this bill into action. We are also grateful to Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for leading the charge,” Mayor de Blasio said on his Facebook page last night.
“Because tampons and pads aren’t luxuries—they’re necessities. As Ferreras-Copeland put it: ‘A young girl should not have to tell her teacher, to then tell her counselor, to then be sent to the nurse’s office, to then be given a pad to then go back to the bathroom while a boy is already taking his exam in his classroom,’” de Blasio wrote.
Planned Parenthood also praised the bill, dubbing the movement “MenstrualEquity” and on its Facebook page wrote, “NYC made history today by passing the nation’s first bill to ensure access to menstrual products in public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. #MenstrualEquity”
“The provision of free feminine hygiene products in public schools is an important service to students who would otherwise not be able to afford them,” said NYC Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, co-prime sponsor of the bill, in a prepared statement. “These free tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers will ensure that girls and young women avoid the discomfort and embarrassing situations that can get in the way of learning. I am proud to work alongside Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland to make our schools safer and healthier places for our students.”