California’s new legislation will require public schools and colleges to provide free menstrual products, offering major support for low-income women.

Like so many laws and policies, those that negatively impact healthcare disproportionately impact low-income families.  Consider, for example, laws and policies that disregard the COVID-19 pandemic.  As Justice Sotomayor’s dissent in FDA v. ACOG recognized, “COVID–19’s mortality rate is three times higher for Black and Hispanic individuals than non-Hispanic White individuals,” largely because “minority and low-income populations are more likely to live in intergenerational housing.”

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Likewise, when states like Texas pass major restrictions on abortion, it of course impacts what the law (for now) considers a fundamental right for all women.  But wealthy women can still take time off of work and travel to other states for medical care, whereas low-income women, predominantly women of color, are subject to the full force of the law.  This is particularly true when the law restricts abortion-related telemedicine.

The flip-side is that small, legal changes that promote healthcare can be majorly beneficial for lower-income populations.  One important example is California’s new legislation, that will require California public schools and colleges to provide free menstrual products.  According to Reuters, two-thirds of low-income women in a large U.S. city could not afford menstrual hygiene products such as tampons or pads.  California’s law will change that for a large number of women, and One Green Planet is asking other states to follow suit.

Sign this petition telling other states to follow California’s lead.

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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