Women in Arizona are sending pads and tampons to a Republican state lawmaker who stalled a bill to provide free and unlimited feminine hygiene products to female inmates, CNN reported.
The #LetItFlow campaign sprung up on social media over the weekend after Arizona state Rep. Thomas Shope (R), chair of the House Rules Committee, held up the bill because the state’s Department of Corrections was changing its policy on the products.
The bill would give female inmates in Arizona unlimited access to feminine hygiene products, and allocates $80,000 to provide the products at no cost to the inmates.
Women began posting pictures of the tampons, pads and monetary donations on social media, to show the products they were sending Shope.
https://t.co/3Wez2ZBd2s— Rebecca McHood (@RebeccaforAZ) February 10, 2018
@TJShopeforAZ is holding #hb2222, bill allows inmates more than 12 poor-quality pads/period.
Send your pad/tampon donations here:
AZ DOC c/o TJ Shope
Room 204 AZ House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Tag a pic #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/4DFqVckYfm
Every mo for ~6 days I use 4-5 tampons. Between 24-30 /mo. AZ female inmates get 12 /mo and are penalized for blood on their clothes. #SB2222 will fix that problem allowing women unlimited supplies. Contact @TJShopeforAZ and ask to let the bill be put to a full vote. #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/8IY0eYNJMw— Valcakes (@Gabbiani26) February 11, 2018
.@TJShopeforAZ, please give #HB2222 a hearing ASAP. It's inhumane to deny women access to tampons and pads! In the meantime, I'm mailing you a few thing to pass along to the AZ Dept of Corrections #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/t2ptXnRTLe— Emily Kirkland (@ERKirkland) February 12, 2018
Rep. Athena Salman (D), who introduced the bill, said the female inmates are only given 12 pads each month and are responsible for purchasing more if they run out.
"This issue speaks to the basic dignity of being a woman," Salman said at a committee hearing on the bill Tuesday, according to CNN. "By denying women additional pads and no free tampons, that is violating a woman's dignity and that's fundamentally wrong."
Matthew Specht, spokesman for the House of Representatives Republican Caucus told CNN in a statement that they had not yet received the feminine hygiene products.
"If/when those come in, we're exploring whether they can be donated to the Arizona Department of Corrections," Specht told CNN. "If not, Representative Shope would like to donate them to a women's shelter in his district."
Specht also said that the Arizona Department of Corrections has decided to change the policy “to provide female inmates with sufficient feminine hygiene products."
"In light of the Arizona Department of Correction's decision to revise their administrative policy on feminine hygiene products, HB 2222 would now be redundant and Rep. Shope does not intend to hear it in the House Rules Committee," Specht told CNN.
However, Salman said the bill should still be debated because officials could change the policy in the future.
"This is so fundamental to the dignity of women; you can't leave this up to chance that future administrations will change this rule back. The women of Arizona deserve for this to be in statute,” she said.