|Posted:||May 28, 2021 11:48 AM|
|From:||Representative Danielle Friel Otten|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Menstrual Hygiene Products in Schools (former HB 1708, “Lilly’s Bill”)|
In 2019, a high school student came to my office to discuss the fact that at her school, students have limited or no access to menstrual hygiene products in the school bathrooms. While the school nurse’s office may provide these products, in many districts, nurses travel between multiple schools and may not be present during the entire school day; consequently, a student may not have access to menstrual hygiene products when they are needed.
According to a November 2017 study, nearly 1 in 5 American young women have missed school or left early due to lack of menstrual hygiene products. The lack of access to these products due to economic factors is known as “Period Poverty.” While not having access to menstrual hygiene products is typically associated with those in other countries, period poverty isn’t just someone else’s problem – it’s happening right here in Pennsylvania, and it is time that we act to remedy this issue.
Having a menstrual cycle and being without the appropriate menstrual hygiene products should not impact students’ ability to attend school. In restroom facilities across our Commonwealth, basic necessities like toilet paper, paper towels, and soap are made available at no cost. And yet, 51 percent of all Pennsylvanians enter those same facilities and find their basic hygiene needs not fully met. Students should be able to access menstrual hygiene products when they need them, without having to ask someone for them.
My legislation would provide menstrual hygiene products, at no cost, in each bathroom of public schools serving students in grades 6 through 12. Please consider joining me in supporting this legislation and providing our students the autonomy to be able to have access to the products they need, when they need them.
Previous Sponsors: OTTEN, KOSIEROWSKI, FRANKEL, RABB, WILLIAMS, A. DAVIS, MADDEN, SCHLOSSBERG, HILL-EVANS, DALEY, MARKOSEK, CONKLIN, YOUNGBLOOD, MULLINS, INNAMORATO, CEPHAS, BULLOCK, BOBACK, BOYLE, SOLOMON, FIEDLER, DAVIDSON, HANBIDGE, O'MARA, and CARROLL
Introduced as HB1954