Schools In Washington Must Provide Students With Period Products Under New Law

In a huge win for accessibility to healthcare, Washington has passed a law stating schools must provide free menstrual products. This was following a study that revealed just how many students struggle with their periods.

A recent bill has passed in Washington that states schools must provide their students with free menstrual products by 2022.

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As WKRM reported, House Bill 1273 was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on May 3. It covers both public schools and private schools, as well as colleges and universities.

The bill aims for these products to be accessible at all schools so students can find them easily.

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The products are to be made available in female bathrooms as well as gender-neutral bathrooms. If a school with grades six through 12 does not have a gender-neutral bathroom, they must be available in at least one bathroom accessible to male students or somewhere generally accessible like a health room.

This bill's passing comes after a survey was held asking menstruating teens about the problems they face regarding periods.

Unsplash | Natracare

The results of this survey were incredibly eye-opening. The main statistic that pushed this law to pass was the fact that of 1000 students ages 13-19, one in five struggle to afford menstrual products.

It goes far beyond just the cost, though. It revealed a lot of still-existing stigma around menstruation.

Pexels | Karolina Grabowska

The survey's responses revealed that 84% of students either skipped class themselves or knew someone who skipped class due to not having access to sanitary products. Also, 71% felt self-conscious when they were on their period, with 64% believing society teaches people to be ashamed of their periods.

This bill is a huge step forward in the destigmatization of periods, and will help those truly in needs.

Pexels | Cliff Booth

With these resources available freely, it is one less stressor for students, so they can better enjoy school and focus on their education.

Washington follows in the footsteps of California, Illinois, New York and New Hampshire who already passed similar laws.

h/t: WKRM

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