From: The Honorable Grace Meng
Sent By:
rachana.shah@mail.house.gov

Date: 2/2/2017

 

Become an original co-sponsor of the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017

 

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to become an original cosponsor of the “Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017.” Menstruation hygiene items, such as pads, tampons, and liners, are necessary purchases for the vast majority of women. Popular culture would have you believe that
these products are ubiquitous and cheap, but in truth, many women face difficulty when it comes to access and affordability.

It’s estimated that up to 86% of women use tampons, up to 72% use pads, and 75% use panty liners. Most premenopausal women use menstrual hygiene products on a monthly basis and it is estimated that a woman will use up to 16,000 tampons in her lifetime. Regardless
of income, women spend a significant amount of money on purchasing menstruation hygiene products each year.

Beyond being cost-prohibitive, different populations of women and girls face unique challenges in accessing menstrual hygiene products. The Menstrual Equity for All Act combines targeted policy proposals to combat each of these unique barriers, and a section-by-section
overview of the bill is below:

 

Sec. 1. Short Title: “Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017”

Sec. 2. Menstrual Hygiene Products Reimbursement from Health Flexible Spending Arrangements

  • This section would allow individuals to buy menstrual hygiene products with money they contribute to their flexible spending accounts.

Sec. 3. Menstrual Hygiene Products Refundable Credit

  • This section would provide a $120 refundable tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual hygiene products. Those qualified for the credit would include women and girls whose incomes fall below 200% of the federal poverty level.

Sec. 4. Menstrual Hygiene Products Availability for Homeless Individuals Under Emergency Food and Shelter Grant Program

  • This section allows grant funds to be used by homeless assistance providers to provide menstrual hygiene products. Historically, the full list of essential household items that could be purchased with the grant funds included cots, blankets, pillows, toilet
    paper, soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, cleaning materials, limited first-aid supplies and underwear/diapers.

Sec. 5. Menstrual Hygiene Products for Inmates and Detainees

  • This section requires each State to provide menstrual hygiene products to female inmates and detainees, at no cost and on demand, as a condition of receiving funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Failure to do so would result
    in a 20% reduction of funds in the following fiscal year.

Sec. 6. Menstrual Hygiene Products for Employees

  • This section directs the Secretary of Labor to require employers with 100 or more employees to provide menstrual hygiene products to their employees free of charge.

If you would like to add your name as an original co-sponsor to this legislation, or for any questions about the Menstrual Equity for All Act, please contact Rachana Shah at
rachana.shah@mail.house.gov or 202-225-2601.

 

Sincerely,

 

__/s/___________________________

 

Grace Meng

Member of Congress

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