This Congresswoman Is Proposing To Make All Menstrual Products Free

Meet Grace Meng.

She is a Queensborough legislator with a vision: To live in a world where all feminine hygiene products are free.

As a congresswoman in her third term, Meng is no stranger to the financial hardships faced on a day-to-day basis.

In February, Meng proposed the Menstrual Equity For All Act 2017 (HR 927).

An op-ed posted by MarieClaire titled, “Our Laws Period-Shame Women—So I’m Going to Change Them” goes into deeper discussion behind Meng’s motives.

“Most Americans—across all income levels—believe that feminine hygiene products are basic necessities. So why is it still so hard to afford and access them?”

According to People, Meng’s proposed cost-reduction program heavily relies on using a “Flexible Spending Account,” better known as FSA.

An FSA comes part of a health benefit care package, and gives people the option of purchasing healthcare products tax-free.

“Under the bill, FSA funds would be allowed for numerous types of feminine hygiene products such as tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, douches, wipes, sprays, and similar items used by women with respect to menstruation or other genital-tract secretions.”

Meng’s stance on changing this law is strong, as she has worked on providing free menstrual products to schools, homeless shelters and jails before.

“I think the issue makes people — both men and women — a little uncomfortable…We’ve grown up in a society where it’s taboo,” Meng tells People.

Meng outlines her plans on her own website in 5 simple bullet points:

– Allow individuals to buy menstrual hygiene products with money they contribute to their flexible spending accounts.

 

– Provide a refundable tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual hygiene products.

 

– Allow grant funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Program, which can be used by homeless assistance providers for essential household items, to be used for menstrual hygiene products.

 

– Require each state to provide menstrual hygiene products to female inmates and detainees, at no cost and on demand, as a condition of receiving funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program.

 

– Direct the Secretary of Labor to require employers with 100 or more employees to provide menstrual hygiene products to their employees free of charge.

Thus far, the act has 21 Democratic sponsors behind it.

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Julia Ismail

Julia likes Nickelback & is unapologetic about it.