Menstrual tampons and pads on a blue background

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced recently that all New York schools will provide free menstrual products in restrooms for girls in grades six through 12. According to parenting website, Scary Mommy, the move was necessary as 42 percent of children in New York live in low income families and can't afford the $7 to $10 monthly fee for feminine hygiene products.

New York is the third state (behind California and Illinois) to require schools to provide menstrual products to female students. It is also the eleventh state to eliminate the so-called “tampon tax” that for years has added 4 to 10 percent to the products’ price tag.

New York City, in 2016, also passed a law that provided all public schools, shelters, and correctional facilities with free feminine products. The legislation made New York the first city in the nation to proactively guarantee access to menstrual hygiene products, according to the city council.

The California law, passed in February 2018, applied directly to low-income schools and required menstrual products to be available in half the restrooms on campus within the year.

Passed in September 2017, the Illinois law applied to all schools and went into effect January 1, 2018. This legislation required all schools to provide feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary napkins free in bathrooms of schools with grades 6 through 12.

The trend has also made it’s way on college campuses. According to an article in Newsweek, Rhode Island's Brown University was one of the first higher-education institutions to implement a free tampon program. At North Carolina State University, members of the student government rolled out a similar initiative earlier this year.