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Bill seeks to make period products available and accessible in Utah schools

Period protest
Posted at 2:28 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 16:31:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY — More than a hundred people filled the Utah State Capitol rotunda to call for lawmakers to make menstruation products more widely available in schools.

Right now, Utah schools are not required to have tampons, pads or similar products available. Occasionally, a school nurse or teacher will have some that they paid for with their own money, but a girl must go and ask for it, said Emily Bell McCormick with the Policy Project, which is pushing for a change.

"Just like we would never ask for someone to go to the office to ask for toilet paper? We shouldn’t be asking for kids to go to the office to ask for period products," McCormick told FOX 13.

A lack of access to these products can force girls to miss school, she said.

On Wednesday, the group got a big boost when Rep. Karianne Lisonbee, R-Clearfield, announced she would run a bill to make period products available in junior high and high schools. Rep. Lisonbee said the bill would allocate money that would be matched by private donors (philanthropist Gail Miller and social media influencer Kristin Andrus have already pledged donations).

Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson also appeared at the rally to offer her support and that of Governor Spencer Cox.

"It’s about dang time," she said, adding that girls should be entitled to period products with dignity and without embarrassment.

The Policy Project said it would like to see the sales tax on hygiene products repealed, but will take that issue on later. Bills to do that have repeatedly failed in the legislature.

The bill to add period products to schools will be introduced in the 2022 legislative session.