Home>Articles>Free Women’s Hygiene Products in All Grade 6-12 Schools, State Colleges Bill Passes Assembly 79-0

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Free Women’s Hygiene Products in All Grade 6-12 Schools, State Colleges Bill Passes Assembly 79-0

AB 367 currently awaits Governor’s approval to be made into law

By Evan Symon, September 11, 2021 2:38 am

A bill that would have public schools with grades 6-12, as well as state colleges, carry free menstrual products in school restrooms was unanimously passed by the Assembly on Thursday, sending the bill to the Governor’s desk.

Assembly Bill 367, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), would specifically expand upon the 2017 AB 10 law, which was also written by Garcia. Current legislation publics with grades 6-12 to have free feminine hygiene products such as tampons in at least 50% of all bathrooms, with public schools also prohibited from charging anything for any such product given to students.

AB 367, also known as the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021, would change the law to have free menstrual products in all schools with  grade grades 6 and up in all women’s and all gender bathrooms. At least one men’s bathroom would also need to be stocked.

The bill would also cover California State universities and public community colleges and require them to have free feminine hygiene products available from at least one central location on each campus. In all cases, AB 367 would come into effect for the 2022-2023 school year.

Assemblywoman Garcia wrote the bill due to women’s periods beginning at any time and the need for students to have them available to prevents accidents and avoid the anxiety in finding tampons or other such products during critical times. As such products can be expensive, she also hopes to make them more accessible for low-income people.

“Often periods arrive at inconvenient times,” explained Garcia on Thursday. “They can surprise us during an important midterm, while playing with our children at a park, sitting in a lobby waiting to interview for a job, shopping at the grocery store, or even standing on the Assembly floor presenting an important piece of legislation.”

“Convenient access would alleviate the anxiety of trying to find a product when out in public.”

Garcia also added in a tweet on Friday that “periods arrive at random times & for many low income people, these essentials aren’t accessible. My bill AB 367 alleviates anxiety tied to looking for a product while at school.”

A bipartisan supported bill

AB 367 has enjoyed bipartisan support since being introduced in February, with no serious opposition having been levied against the bill throughout it’s legislative run. Besides two nay votes in the Senate vote on Wednesday, every Assembly, Senate, and respective committee votes have had total support, including the 79-0 Assembly vote on Thursday.

“This is one of those state level bills that are not easily argued against,” explained Carla Rivers, an analyst who keeps track of “pink tax” and menstrual product laws in the US, to the Globe on Thursday. “In California this go around, they changed the bill to make it more about being a right to have them and to have them be available in places for transgender students and even in men’s rooms to cover those students, as well as have an area where they would likely be available in case of a shortage.

“To many, it’s like not including toilet paper in a public bathroom, or not including urinals for men. It just makes things more difficult. And both parties in California see that need.”

AB 367 is now on the desk of Governor Gavin Newsom, where it is widely accepted that he will sign it into law.

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9 thoughts on “Free Women’s Hygiene Products in All Grade 6-12 Schools, State Colleges Bill Passes Assembly 79-0

  1. So these pampered kids and their parents can not even handle dealing with such a routine thing? How on Earth did the kids of 150 years ago manage to learn more when they had to use horses for transportation, did not have running water did not have phones, and hand to hand-write things?

    1. What do people think will happen to tampons in the boy’s room? I predict 100% will be wasted but it will be amusing to see what their little minds come up with.

  2. Gender-based laws favoring one gender over another is ILLEGAL in CA, isn’t it? Why should taxpayers pay for anything that is the responsibility of parents to provide. And that includes meals at schools. When I went to middle and high school in L.A., the cafeteria wasn’t fee. We had to pay for our lunches. Why all of sudden it becomes someone else’s problem to feed other people’s kids, while the same parents use EBT cards to buy themselves goodies at the store. ENOUGH ALREADY.

    1. Yep – been hearing PSA’s on iHeart Radio shilling for some percentage of LA schoolchildren being hungry…. excuse me – since when does that affect any of us, and why should we be on the hook to feed other people’s spawn???

      1. Have been making the same point forever. If you’re economically down, you have no business having kids until you can afford to support and care for them. Use contraceptives, which should be the only form of “planned parenthood” taxpayers should pay for. Taxpayers are not responsible to provide three squares for your kids while they’re at taxpayer-funded schools. Schools are free for learning. Not for raising kids.

  3. Ridiculous. Bring your own tampons or napkins when you expect a period. It’s called being mature and responsible!

  4. It follows then that boys entering puberty at nearly the same age and school grade level should be provided free and at taxpayer expense, at least one jockstrap and protective athletic cup for participation in P.E. classes per semester. Better yet, can we all just trash this state codified insanity and support our children having natural adolescent growing pains within our homes as is the traditional and natural way?

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