Women’s Health

Be a Part of the Movement

We are pleased to partner with National Period Day and Days for Girls to bring national attention to menstrual health issues.

Policy That Must Change

Please support us as we work to make critical changes in laws surrounding menstruation–making Utah and the U.S. an even better place for women and girls.

  • Ensure tampons and pads are freely available in schools, shelters and prisons.
  • Make menstrual products more affordable by eliminating sales tax on them.
  • Reclassify menstrual products as “medically necessary” so they are available for purchase using dedicated pre-tax dollars, like other “medically necessary” items (Viagra, Rogaine, sunscreen, Band-Aids).

The Economics Of Menstruation

There is a short-term cost to providing menstrual products and exempting them from sales tax. But we know from other countries that people who menstruate and lack access to menstrual products:

  • Girls and women who stay in school become educated
  • Educated women attain higher-paying jobs
  • Better jobs allow women to care for family and community
  • Women’s economic contribution improves society for everyone

There is NO LONG-TERM U.S. STUDY on access and menstruation. But we know from other countries that women, girls and people who menstruate, but lack access to menstrual health products:

  • Don’t perform as well in school
  • Miss work and sometimes lose their jobs
  • Suffer from infections from using unhygienic materials to absorb fluids instead of sanitary menstrual products
  • Experience “embarrassment” and shame among peers

The Menstrual Stigma

Become comfortable discussing menstruation.

%

of the population experiences it

%

of the population is here because of it

Making ‘menstruation’-talk normal, will help end the stigma by:
  • Easing embarrassment for girls in school
  • Allowing for open dialogue for women at work
  • Opening the doors for congress and the legislature to discuss health needs of women, girls and people who menstruate, without fearing it is ‘not their place’

The Legalities of Menstruating

According to the IRS, the overseer of all tax collection, “medically necessary” items do not incur tax (that list currently includes Rogaine, Viagra, Band-Aids and sunscreen). Tampons and pads? Taxed because they’re not considered ‘medically necessary.’

At a state-level, places like Utah charge sales tax on tampons and pads, but not on tickets to athletic events, vending machine candy, arcade tokens or snow making machines.

To see what your state doesn’t charge taxes on, click here.

And schools are required to provide Band-Aids for scraped knees, but not tampons for bleeding of another kind.

Facts About Period Poverty

  • 20% of women struggle to afford period products
  • 46% of women who earn low incomes have to choose between period products and a meal
  • 88,000 girls in Los Angeles reported missing school because of a lack of access to period products
  • One in five girls miss school monthly due to lack of access to period products
  • Six states (Georgia, Illinois, California, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey) have passed state-wide legislation to provide tampons and pads freely in public schools. Three other states have proposed legislation.
  • Fifteen states have exempted sales tax on period products. The remaining 35 states have proposed legislation to do so. 
  • Utah charges sales tax on period products. But it does NOT charge sales tax on (but not limited to): prescription medication, college sporting events, arcade tokens, vending machine candy, carwashes, snow cannons, etc. 
  • Period products are not considered “medically necessary” by the IRS, unlike other “medically necessary” items like Rogaine, Viagra, Band-Aids and sunscreen. Tampons and pads are therefore not eligible for any pre-tax healthcare benefits such as Medicaid, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts or any other tax-deductible healthcare benefit. 
  • 68 percent of teens ages 13-19 have missed school because they do not have access to period products.

You Can Help

Volunteer

You don’t need to be a policy expert to get involved. You just have to care about issues.

We help you help the cause.

Sign

Sign the petition to help encourage the legislature + congress to take note of this issue.

Write

Write your congresspeople (your Representative and Senators at a national level) and/or your legislators (your Representative and Senators at a state level) and let them know that you are concerned about these issues and that you hope they will support change.

Give

Your monetary gift helps provide for public awareness campaigns, events, public education and government outreach.

Join Us

Join us! As we stand together.

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Sponsors

Days for Girls