Free tampons and pads will now be available to students in public schools. And, yes, we are celebrating!
Free pads and tampons will finally be given out for free to low income students in public schools in California #AB10
— Pauliners ? (@Peaceskies2250) October 13, 2017
California Gov. Jerry Brown is following in the steps of New York City and Illinois school districts by providing students in grades 6-12 to access to free menstrual products at their public schools. He signed Assembly Bill No. 10 on Friday, and needless to say the bill’s author was thrilled.
Rep. Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), who wrote #AB10, used tampons as confetti in honor of the historic moment.
— Cristina Garcia (@AsmGarcia) October 13, 2017
“It’s about taking a topic that’s taboo, that we’re told not to talk about — and when we do talk about, we’re made fun of, we’re ridiculed about it,” Garcia told The Los Angeles Times. “I just wanted to have a little bit of fun with it. I felt that was the way to take the rhetoric back and make it mine.”
“The Legislative Women’s Caucus is once again paving the way toward a better California, and today’s actions will make a positive difference for women, children and families across the state,” Gov. Brown said in a press release.
How much did Garcia campaign for AB10? Let’s just say everyone on the Assembly floor knew exactly what she was fighting for.
— Cristina Garcia (@AsmGarcia) September 12, 2017
Garcia carried a Tampon Barbie, which was a Barbie holding a tampon, with her at all times. She also kept a bloody tampon in her office window, according to The Los Angeles Times. If that’s not hard work in the name of feminists everywhere, I don’t know what is.
As stated in the bill, AB10 “Requires every public and private school, as provided, to have restroom facilities that are open as prescribed during school hours, and at all times to keep every restroom maintained and cleaned regularly, fully operational, and stocked with soap and paper supplies. This bill would require a public school maintaining any combination of classes from grade 6 to grade 12, inclusive, that meets a 40% pupil poverty threshold specified in federal law to stock 50% of the school’s restrooms with feminine hygiene products, as defined. The bill would prohibit a public school from charging for any menstrual products, including feminine hygiene products, provided to pupils.”
Here’s what people had to say about this monumental moment for women:
— delphine (@delphinehirsh) October 8, 2017
— Parent Voices CA (@ParentVoicesCA) October 12, 2017
— Western Center (@Western_Center) October 12, 2017
— MsJaneeX (@NoBootyBella) October 12, 2017
Along with signing AB10, Gov. Brown also signed some more incredible bills that benefit women’s rights. Here’s a summary, according to the Legislative Women’s Caucus:
- Smaller business (minimum of 20 employees) will now have to offer paid maternity leave.
- Enable more parents who are taking high school equivalency courses or English as a second language to qualify for subsidized child care.
- Make welfare benefits immediately available to domestic violence victims.
- Extend the amount of time that rape kits must be retained.
- Require the state to provide more information about the breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA) in order to better guide treatment.