December 13, 2022

Casten, Meng Introduce Bill to Expand Access to Menstrual Products 




Casten, Meng Introduce Bill to Expand Access to Menstrual Products 

Washington, D.C. (December 13th, 2022) - Today, Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06)  and Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) introduced the Period PROUD (Providing Resources to Our Underserved and Disadvantaged) Act of 2022 to expand accessibility to menstrual products for those with limited access. 

Menstrual products are often considered a luxury, with the cost averaging $13.25 a month, forcing many women to make difficult decisions such as choosing between sanitary pads or food. The Period PROUD Act would provide funding through the Social Services Block Grant program to remove cost barriers to menstrual products and educate school officials on how to best communicate with students in need of these products. 

“No one should be forced to choose between paying their bills or buying menstrual products,” said Rep. Casten. “The Period PROUD Act removes that cost-barrier for the 22 million women living in poverty and ensures that a period will never have to prevent someone from going to school or showing up to work. Menstruation is a natural process and the products it requires should be freely accessible.”

“Menstrual products are a health care right and a human right and no one should have to choose between buying food or buying basic needs like menstrual products. That is why I have led the fight in Congress to combat period poverty and ensure women and girls have safe and affordable access to menstrual products through my Menstrual Equity for All Act,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “Period products are often classified as luxury products making them more expensive and often inaccessible to low-income individuals. The Period PROUD Act would provide funding to help remove cost barriers to menstrual products and I am proud to partner with Congressman Casten in the fight to end period poverty.”

“Menstruation products should be free for everyone regardless of status, income, or religion. The Period PROUD Act of 2022 is essential to making this a reality in the United States,” said Christian Nunes, President of the National Organization for Women. “Removing the cost barriers around menstruation products and increasing accessibility affects us all, especially low-income communities. Menstruation products should not be a luxury for some because they are a necessity for all. It’s time to enact a policy like the Period PROUD Act of 2022 to guarantee it."

“I Support the Girls (ISTG) is thrilled to see the Period P.R.O.U.D. (Providing Resources to Our Underserved and Disadvantaged) Act being introduced, sponsored by Representatives Casten and Meng. Menstrual equity is so often ignored, but it crosses racial, social, and regional divides,” said Dana Marlowe, Executive Director of ISTG. “I am so pleased to see that this Act will combat period poverty and promote equity for menstruating individuals, will ensure equal opportunity to attend school or not miss work due to one's period. Ample access to period products also reduces the potential for health complications. We support this legislation and are excited to see it move forward.”

"Menstrual equity does not only impact those who menstruate, but has an impact on the overall health and strength of entire communities,” said Meghan Freebeck, Chief Executive Officer of Simply the Basics. “When basic needs are more accessible, we create greater opportunities for people in their education, employability, and overall wellness. Simply the Basics is built on the foundation that all of our basic hygiene needs should be equitable and accessible, and for that reason we are proud to endorse Period PROUD."

“Girls should never miss school because they can't afford period products. This initiative will be an important step in improving health, education, and opportunities," said Dr Stephanie Hull, President and CEO of Girls Inc.

Current endorsing organizations: The Period Collective, #HappyPeriod, I Support the Girls, National Organization for Women, American Association of University Women Naperville  IL Chapter, Girls Inc., Simply the Basics.