COLLINSVILLE – Ill. – A bill passed by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, that will require menstrual products be provided in all restrooms on all college campuses was signed into law today.
“The monthly cost of tampons or pads can be too much for college students who may not have a source of income and are already struggling to make ends meet,” said Stuart. “Our college students are facing a public health crisis with period poverty, and allowing for students to have free access to menstrual products will ease their financial burden and help them stay healthy, and not have to worry about missing class if they do not have enough products.”
Stuart sponsored House Bill 641, which requires all college campuses to provide free menstrual hygiene products in all of the restrooms within campus boundaries. In the United States, college students miss about 20% of class days because they do not have enough menstrual products. Stuart’s law will help these students meet their basic needs, and make sure that they do not miss classes.
“This bill is important, because it recognizes a simple fact of our biology. Approximately half of our population experiences menstruation throughout a significant portion of their lifetimes. This is a normal function of our biology, and should be treated and seen as such,” continued Stuart. “We all collectively agree that toilet paper, napkins, tissues, and seat covers are provided for us in our public spaces. This legislation puts menstrual hygiene products in that same category, exactly where they belong.”