SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, recently voted to pass legislation that would require shelters to provide free feminine hygiene products to women and girls experiencing homelessness.
“Access to feminine hygiene products is a medical necessity, and the need does not simply disappear for women experiencing homelessness or those that cannot afford to purchase them,” said Mussman. “Poor menstrual hygiene can lead to a myriad of medical problems, so I am proud to have supported legislation to increase access to feminine hygiene products for women and girls.”
Mussman supported House Bill 2656, which creates the Feminine Hygiene Product for the Homeless Act. According to an NBC report, tampons and pads are one of the least donated items for homeless women in the United States, despite being highly requested. Homeless women are forced to use improvised hygiene products such as wadded up toilet paper, tissues, or newspapers. Purchasing feminine hygiene products creates a significant financial burden, especially for women with children who make up 60% of the female homeless population in the United States. On average, women in the United States spend more than $2 billion on feminine hygiene products per year, and a single woman will spend approximately $1,773 on hygiene products in her lifetime.
“I have continually fought to increase access to feminine hygiene products, as they are medically necessary. In 2016 I proudly voted to repeal the Tampon Tax, because it was wrong for Illinois to tax feminine hygiene products as a luxury items,” continued Mussman. “I strongly urge the state Senate and Gov. Pritzker to approve this legislation to increase access to menstrual products for women and girls in need.”
For more information, please contact Rep. Mussman’s constituent service office at 847-923-9104 or StateRepMussman@gmail.com.