Oct 9, 2021 - Health

California public schools to provide free menstrual products by 2022

Packages of Tampax brand tampons on a drugstore shelf in New York on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday to require public schools to stock their restrooms with free menstrual products.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after many women's rights advocates have pushed nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons and other women's hygiene products.

  • The requirement follows in the footsteps of many other states, like Washington and Illinois, which passed similar laws this year.

The big picture: The California bill states that all public schools with students grades 6 to 12, community colleges and California State Universities must provide feminine hygiene products in their restrooms starting in the 2022 school year.

  • The bill signed Friday expands a 2017 law that requires low-income schools to provide students with free menstrual products.

What they're saying: "Our biology doesn't always send an advanced warning when we're about to start menstruating, which often means we need to stop whatever we're doing and deal with a period," Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia said in a statement.

  • "Just as toilet paper and paper towels are provided in virtually every public bathroom, so should menstrual products," she added.
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