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)
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 and equity in Massachusetts. Download our Testimny Toolkit today and submit your written stories and support for the I AM bill to the legislature.
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.