Every woman knows the struggle of being forced to spend her hard earned money on feminine hygiene products, but we must do so because staying locked away to bleed for the duration of our periods is not an option (much like being born female).
Although there is not a specific tax solely for feminine hygiene products, the sales tax that exists on them classifies these products as non-essential items. Yeah, totally don’t even need the things, I’ll just bleed on all over my house, your house, the office, the grocery store…you get the picture. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals states that a female will menstruate 450 times throughout her lifetime, yet these are still non-essential items? Georgia even considers candy a grocery item that is exempt from sales tax. I love candy as much as the next person, but I need tampons. More importantly, these taxes only make these essential items less affordable for girl and women of low income. Even worse, feminine hygiene products (or any hygiene product) cannot be purchased with food stamps. These barriers only contribute to the endless cycle of young girls and women being held back by their periods.
According to BBC, “Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania do not tax sanitary products.” NPR adds that the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that feminine hygiene products met the state’s definition of “medical appliances” and were exempt from the tax. A review of the case can be found here.
In order to remove the stigma against menstruation and the inaccessibility of feminine hygiene products for many females, I am asking you all to bring this issue to the attention of our government. This may seem like a small and meaningless battle to some, but for many women struggling to make ends meet, the cost of these necessary items is a huge burden. This is one way our government can show they are committed to making changes that support gender equality and reproductive health.
Let’s bring this to the attention of Georgia lawmakers and ask them to reconsider the taxes placed on these very essential items. If you are tired of spending more money than necessary on your period or are an ally supporting our fight, please sign and share this petition to show your support! Thank you!