Introducing Mass NOW's 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.
The ability to access necessary menstrual products can be especially challenging for homeless individuals, people in prison, and many young people in public schools. Our new bill, co-written with the offices of two of our lead sponsors Senator Jehlen and Representative Livingstone. The measure is also being sponsored by Senator Cyr and Representative Barber and is explicitly focused on increasing access to menstrual products for these populations. We are excited to take the lead on building an intersectional coalition to advocate for this bill.
Mass NOW’s I AM bill would provide 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.
An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools: H.1959/S.1274 (I AM. bill)
Join the coalition
Calling all activists, advocacy organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and public servants interested in increasing menstrual access and equity in Massachusetts & beyond: we need you!
Fill out the form below if you’re interested in joining our Menstrual Access Coalition working on the following priorities :
- Reviewing and distribute a public survey designed to collect data on the current state of menstrual access among school nurses, shelters & sheriffs offices
- Organizing consciousness-raisings or ‘period talk’ open mic events in your living room, favorite cafe or neighborhood library. This is important community building work to strengthen our personal narratives and take menstruation out of the closet!
- Collecting testimony to support this measure in the legislature through the Menstrual Access Story Bank
The following organizations endorse the I AM bill. Add your name NOW!
AFT-MA, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Student Advisory Council, Boston Women’s Fund, Cambridge Women’s Commission, Eos Advocacy Fund, Jane Doe Inc., Mass Equality, Massachusetts Commission on LBGTQ Youth, Medicina de Mujer, Mujeres Aliadas, NARAL Pro-Choice MA, National Association of Social Workers – MA, Our Bodies Ourselves, Partners in Sex Education, Period Project at Boston University School of Public Health, Period: The Menstrual Movement, Society for Menstrual Cycle Research, The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Women’s International League for Peace, YWCA Boston, YWCA Cambridge, YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts, Women’s Power Gap
Tell your period story.
As we gear up for the I AM. bill’s first committee hearing, we need to hear your stories about menstrual access in Massachusetts. Share your story about why you want Massachusetts to be the first state in the nation to providing menstrual access to public schools, prisons, and homeless shelters in this 5 minute survey below.