Bipartisan Bill Providing Menstrual Products in Schools Passes Pa. House


HARRISBURG— The Pennsylvania House on June 4 approved a bipartisan bill that would make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost to students in schools across the state.

House Bill 851, sponsored by Reps. Darisha Parker and Carol Hill-Evans, aims to help students focus on academics rather than worrying about access to pads and tampons during their periods. It now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The bill aligns with Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal allocating $3 million to provide free period products in schools. Shapiro said the funding would “help close a gap in women’s health care that too often hurts low-income girls and young women of color.”

“There are girls in Pennsylvania missing school because they don’t have access to period products,” Shapiro said. “That’s unfair.”

Acting Health Secretary Dr. Debra Bogen noted the public health impact, saying students “miss class because of their periods” and lack of access to proper menstrual products. Education Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin said schools should provide necessary care products so “students can focus on math, music, and medieval history instead of menstruation.”

Parker and Hill-Evans cited research showing period poverty disproportionately affects Black and Latinx communities, with nearly a quarter struggling to afford products in 2021. Their memo stated, “People who menstruate should not have to miss work, school, or other life events due to not having access to period products.”

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