Several lawmakers — including a handful of 2020 Democrat candidates — are recognizing National Period Day in order to elevate “the issue of period poverty,” lamenting that it is “outrageous” that some “people” do not have access to basic menstrual products due to their gender identity.
Saturday, October 19, 2019, marked the first-ever National Period Day:
Organizers planned events across the country and encouraged activists to spread awareness online by using the hashtags #NationalPeriodDay and #PeriodPower. A few 2020 Democrat candidates took their cues.
“In detention centers and in prisons, in big cities and small towns, women across America don’t have access to the period products they need,” former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) wrote, urging men to “join women in demanding real change”:
“Too many people don’t have access to basic health needs like menstrual products,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) wrote, musing that some do not have proper access to menstrual products due to “gender identity”:
“Every day, people are forced to choose between going to school or work, or staying home because they can’t afford the menstrual products they need,” presidential hopeful Julián Castro (D) wrote, calling for pads, tampons, and cups to be “tax-free”:
Other lawmakers jumped into the mix as well, expressing support.
“#DidYouKnow 1 in 5 American girls have missed school because they did not have period products,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) wrote. “#Menstrual #justice is #education justice. It’s time to end #periodpoverty now by passing #ME4ALL! #NationalPeriodDay”:
“Menstrual equity = health care = a human right. This is a fact for over 50% of our population,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) wrote. “Menstrual hygiene products are NOT, nor ever were, a “luxury” item. It’s past time to end #PeriodPoverty for all of us and #EndthePinkTax”:
“Tampons are taxed, Viagra isn’t,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) tweeted in part:
According to the organization’s website, rallies across the country are “just the beginning” of the movement.
“This is a year long campaign to nationally elevate the issue of period poverty with clear policy demands for freely accessible period products in schools, shelters, and prisons, and to eliminate the tampon tax in the remaining states,” it explains.