One of the many unspoken issues facing homeless women is access to feminine hygiene products. Governor Hochul, recognizing this issue, signed legislation on December 22, 2021, amending Social Services Law by adding a new section 152-c[i], which requires that feminine hygiene products be provided at no cost to menstruating individuals in homeless shelters. The products include, but not limited to, sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners.”[ii] “This bill will provide feminine hygiene products at no cost to adults and children in shelters throughout New York State.”[iii] “Menstrual products can be unaffordable for those already struggling. This bill provides these products free of charge so those living in homeless shelters do not have to resort to using unsafe alternatives that can result in serious infection.”[iv] Senator Michelle Hinchey, who sponsored Senate Bill S6572, stated: “Access to menstrual supplies is a fundamental health necessity, and yet in almost every community across our state, there are people who cannot afford period products – a dilemma that no one should ever have to face.”[v] Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal echoed this sentiment and stated that woman should not be forced between deciding whether to buy food or menstrual products.[vi] This legislation is a small step in ensuring that women are treated fairly.
It is important that issues specific to women are brought to light and that women are treated equally and fairly. For further information, please contact Christopher E. Vatter at email@example.com or Samantha M. Guido at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] Senate Bill S6572/A.529-A.
[ii] Id. at “Summary”.
[iii] Id. at “Purpose”.