An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools: H.1959/S.1274 (I AM. bill)
Menstrual products are a necessity – an essential part of caring for personal health for all menstruating individuals. Non-menstruating people go into a bathroom expecting their basic bodily needs will be met (toilet, toilet paper, soap, water etc.) – this is not the case for people who are menstruating.
Our new bill, co-written with our lead sponsors Senator Jehlen, Representative Livingstone and Representative Barber would ensure access to free menstrual products to all menstruating individuals in prisons, homeless shelters and public schools from 6th-12th grade. The bill also contains language to ensure the products are truly accessible without stigmatizing the individual seeking them.
No one should have to choose between food, a roof over their head, their education, and access to menstrual products. Public Policy does not address the needs of menstruating people. Massachusetts has the opportunity to change that.
The I AM bill was voted favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Health in December 2019. Join us at our first ever Lobby Day to End Period Poverty March 26th to hear from menstrual activists and let your legislators know: we want the I AM bill passed this session!
As we gear up for the I AM bill’s first committee hearing, legislators need to hear your stories about menstrual access and equity in Massachusetts. Download our Advocacy Toolkit today and submit your period stories and support for the I AM bill to the legislature. In this toolkit you will find:
- State & National research on period poverty
- Testimony template to add your own period story & email instructions
- Social Media graphics to spread the word about the I AM bill, period poverty, & a save the date for our upcoming Lobby Day March 26th 10AM at the State House!
What we know.
We distriubuted our “State of Menstrual Access Survey” to school nurses, shelter administrators, and Department of Corrections personnel across the state. We received responses from 230 schools, all six county correctional facilities, and homeless shelters from all over Massachusetts. Based on those responses, here’s what we know about the state of menstrual access in the Commonwealth.