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Scotland passes bill to make menstruation products free in public facilities

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Scotland’s parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would require local governments to provide free menstruation products to all Scottish residents.

The BBC reported that each of Scotland’s 32 local government authorities, called councils, will provide tampons or sanitary pads to “anyone who needs them” free of charge, making Scotland the first country to put such a provision into law.

The bill, which will become law once it receives royal assent, is aimed at ending so-called period poverty, or the inability of some to afford sanitary products every month, a problem which supporters of the Scottish bill say has worsened with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Periods don’t stop for pandemics and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusables has never been more important,” said Labour MSP Monica Lennon, the bill’s sponsor, according to the BBC.

Scotland’s government has taken a progressive view toward menstrual health in recent years; Tuesday’s passage of Lennon’s bill follows a move by Scotland’s parliament in 2018 to make all sanitary products available to students for free.

“In a country as rich as Scotland, it’s unacceptable that anyone should struggle to buy basic sanitary products. I am proud that Scotland is taking this world-leading action to fight period poverty,” Scotland’s Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said of that decision at the time.

Tags Feminine hygiene Menstrual cycle Menstrual hygiene management Personal hygiene products Sanitary napkin Tampon
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