Being a teen just got mildly less terrible for students at Queens’ High School for Arts and Business, where New York City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland cut the metaphorical ribbon Tuesday on a dispenser offering free tampons and maxi pads.
The dispenser will be stocked courtesy of Tampax and Maxithins, and it’s part of Ferreras-Copeland’s plan to offer free hygiene products for people who menstruate throughout all of New York City’s junior high and high schools. Ferreras-Copeland devised the legislation after working in an after-school program where, as she told PixII, she learned students were “concerned about ‘can my mother afford this.’ […] Just like we’ve been able to demystify [and] take the taboo out of condoms, then we should do the same for tampons.”
According to Yahoo News, the councilwoman also hopes to offer the supplies at homeless shelters and prisons. Her legislation would also eliminate tax on menstrual hygiene products and include them in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Ferreras-Copeland explained to the Queens Courier,
Offering free menstrual care supplies as we do toilet paper and condoms is a matter of avoiding health risks, eliminating the stigma that surrounds a natural part of a woman’s life, and for girls in school, not having to skip class because they got their period. Feminine hygiene products allow women and girls to carry out their daily responsibilities uninterrupted, and they should always be easily accessible.
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