Menstrual pads and tampons with tender white flowers on pastel lilac background

Maryland could be the next state to join the fight against period poverty after a bill was introduced to mandate free menstrual products in public school restrooms.

The bill sent to Maryland’s General Assembly would force every public school to install and maintain stock of menstrual pad and tampon dispensers in at least two restrooms by Oct. 1, 2020, reports WUSA9. If approved, the bill’s requirements would later expand to mandating dispensers in every restroom by Aug. 1, 2024. 

The movement to provide free menstrual products in public schools and end taxes on tampons has seen steady growth in recent years. A high profile ruling took place in 2016 when New York became the 11th state to ban taxes on menstrual products. Just weeks later, New York City passed laws requiring all correctional facilities, public schools and shelters to provide free menstrual products.

In 2019, one town in Massachusetts became the first in the United States to require complementary tampons and other menstrual hygiene products in all its public bathrooms. 

Brown University became one of the first higher-education institutions to implement a free tampon program following a movement led by its student body president.

For more on how the movement to push free feminine products went mainstream, read this story from Facility Cleaning Decisions.