Category Archives: Women’s Health

Toxic Substances in Tampons and Pads Near You (Really Near You)

In a Journal of Women’s Health preprint, researchers at the University of Michigan have published the results of their study of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in 25 users of tampons and menstrual pads. Here is an excerpt from … Continue reading

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Society for Menstrual Cycle Research “Extra! Extra! Menstruation Research Slam”

On Thursday, August 5, 2021, the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research (SMCR) will host an online mini-conference on menstruation and reproductive health. The program is a showcase of rapid-fire 5 minute oral presentation delivered by SMCR early career researchers, graduate … Continue reading

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Oregon Legislature Passes “Menstrual Dignity Act”

Oregon HB 3294, the Menstrual Dignity Act, passed both houses of the state legislature and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The bill provides access to free menstrual products in schools. There’s a short, easy-to-read description of the … Continue reading

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Free Period Products Coming to Public Bathrooms in Santa Clara County, California

In March, the Santa Clara (California) County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to stock half of all public restrooms in county facilities. News coverage here and here. Students at Stanford are now calling on their University to follow suit. See … Continue reading

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Michoacán, Mexico Makes Menstrual Products Free Schools and Requires Menstruation-Related Education

Earlier this year Michoacán became the first state in Mexico to require schools to provide free menstrual products to students and to require menstruation-related education in schools.  The original legislative proposal is here (in Spanish). Additional news coverage is here … Continue reading

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Uruguay’s VAT on Menstrual Products is a Form of Gender Discrimination

Erika Johanna Lara-Vargas has published El Impuesto de Valor Agregado (IVA) en los productos de gestión menstrual en Uruguay: políticas públicas “neutras” al género vs feminismo estatal, in Revista Límbica Vol. II Núm. 2 (2021), ISSN 2718-7241.  Here’s the English-language … Continue reading

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Period Poverty, Menstrual Equity, Menstrual Justice, or Menstrual Health: Naming the Norms That Legal Scholars Seek

If 2015 was the “Year the Period Went Public,” maybe we’re now in the period period,  catamenial decennary, or menstrual age. Whatever words we use, it’s undeniable that menstruation-related issues have gained new traction in public discourse, academic scholarship, workplaces, … Continue reading

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What’s New in FemTech? You Can Find Out for $4,950

A market research company owned by Berkshire Hathaway has published a report called The COVID-19 Pandemic and a Rising Focus on Women’s Untapped Healthcare Needs are Transforming the Global Femtech Solutions Industry. To learn all about this, one needs only … Continue reading

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Findings from the “State of the Period 2021” Report

Thinx and PERIOD, a non-profit menstrual equity organization, has issued its State of the Period 2021 report. This follows up on a similar report issued in 2019. Here are some salient findings, all of which are direct quotes from the … Continue reading

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The SPOT Period: Philadelphia Non-Profit’s “Menstrual Hub” Addresses Period Poverty — It’s an Actual Building!

In February, 2021, the nonprofit organization No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit, Inc., founded by Lynette Medley, opened The SPOT Period, a physical gathering place that offers free menstrual products, menstruation-related counseling and education, a computer lab with three machines.  … Continue reading

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A New Environmentally-Friendly Banana Fiber Menstrual Pad Coming to a Store Near You?

India-based researchers Krishnashree Achuthan, Sharanya Muthupalani, Vysakh Kani Kolil, Anju Bist, Krishna Sreesuthan & Aswathy Sreedevi have published the results of their study: A Novel Banana Fiber Pad for Menstrual Hygiene in India: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study, 21 BMC … Continue reading

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13 Short Symposium Essays in Connection with “Are You There, Law? It’s Me, Menstruation?” @ColumbiaJGL

On April 9/10, 2021, the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Judy Blume’s book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and the 30th anniversary of the journal with a symposium … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminist Legal History, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Law Teaching, Race and Racism, Sisters In Other Nations, Socioeconomic Class, Upcoming Conferences, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on 13 Short Symposium Essays in Connection with “Are You There, Law? It’s Me, Menstruation?” @ColumbiaJGL

Montclair (NJ) High School Students Prevented from Placing Donated Menstrual Products in School Restrooms

A couple of years ago, students at Montclair High School in Montclair, New Jersey began placing in school bathrooms various menstrual products they gathered through school-wide tampon and pad donation drives. By all accounts, the project seems to have been well-received by teachers … Continue reading

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Making the Case of a Constitutional Right to Menstrual Products for Prisoners and Detainees: Flores v. City of New York (E.D. N.Y. Feb. 19, 2021)

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a ruling last week that plaintiff Jennifer Flores can move forward with her suit alleging violations of her constitutional rights by failing to provide her with access … Continue reading

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“Young Australian of the Year” Isobel Marshall Honored for Menstrual Equity Work

Every year in Australia, the non-profit (and government owned) National Australia Day Council gives several awards: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero. The awards are meant to serve … Continue reading

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Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, “The Fight for Menstrual Equity Continues in 2021”

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (NYU Brennan Center and Period Equity) has published a new op-ed in Marie Claire. Here’s what she calls “the five menstrual equity policies we should commit to fighting for in 2021:” End the Tampon Tax Across the U.S. … Continue reading

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CFP: Symposium on the COVID Care Crisis and its Implications for Legal Academia

The COVID care crisis and other multiplying effects of related shutdowns, embedded inequalities, and health and safety risks are likely disproportionately impacting people with caregiving responsibilities in academia. The division that separates work from home has collapsed, threatening the very … Continue reading

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New Article: “Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity”

Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) and I have posted to SSRN a draft of our article Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity, 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021). Here is the abstract: Period poverty is … Continue reading

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Remarks of Zelle W. Andrews at Westchester Women’s Agenda Conference at Sarah Lawrence College (circa 2012)

Dr. Zelle Andrews, a graduate of Wheaton College and the University of Hawai’i, had a long career as an organizer and activist.  She served as president of the New York State and Westchester chapters of the National Organization for Women, … Continue reading

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New Book Announcement: Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies

Here is the publisher’s description of the newly-published Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies (Bobel, C., Winkler, I.T., Fahs, B., Hasson, K.A., Kissling, E.A., Roberts, T.-A. eds.) : This open access handbook, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive … Continue reading

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Greer Donley @PittLaw Receives 2020 @HaubLawatPace Emerging Scholar Award in Women, Gender & Law

Professor Greer Donley of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has been selected as the winner of 2019-2020 Haub Law Emerging Scholar Award in Women, Gender & Law for her paper Contraceptive Equity: Curing the Sex Discrimination in the … Continue reading

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Signatories Sought for Letter Urging NCBEX to Require All States to Permit Test-Takers to Bring Menstrual Products to Bar Exam

We recently have been made aware that certain state bar examiners – including some administering the exam next week – prohibit people from bringing their own menstrual products to the bar exam.  For the reasons explained below and in the … Continue reading

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Protestors Are Getting Period-Shamed and Mistreated

In an opinion piece for Newsweek, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (NYU Brennan Center) highlights here the ways that jail officials are withholding menstrual products from detainees, including those arrested in recent protests. Here is an except: Just last week, a New York … Continue reading

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How Much Do “Free” Tampons Cost Schools? $2.48 Per Student Per Year in Cambridge, MA

I have previously speculated (here) about what it would cost for public schools in Yonkers, New York to put menstrual products in the bathrooms of public schools serving students in grades 6 through 12. According to press reports (here), the … Continue reading

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Tampon Shortages in a Pandemic

From the New York Times, this column about hte hoarding of menstrual products in these unsual times.  Here’s an excerpt: Just as the pandemic has disrupted work, school and social routines, so it has disrupted the menstrual supply chain. Those … Continue reading

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Coronavirus Aid Package Would Change Rules on Purchases of #Tampons, Pads

The corona virus aid package before the house contains a provision that would allow flexible spending accounts to be used to pay for menstrual products.  Business Insider has the story (here): The change in law would allow people to pay … Continue reading

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High School Students in Idaho Taking on the Tampon Tax – @MHS_Bobcats

Students at Madison High School in Idaho are taking on the tampon tax. The local newspaper, the Standard Journal, reported here that a group of seniors are proposing solutions as part of their “Project Citizen” work: Adeline Winn, Madison Jensen, … Continue reading

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Utah Poised to Repeal #Tampon Tax

Yesterday the Utah legislature passed a bill that will exempt from menstrual products (tampons, pads, etc.) from state sales tax.  Read more here.

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Johnson, Crawford & Waldman on “Title IX and Menstruation”

Margaret Johnson (Baltimore), Emily Waldman (Pace) and I have posted to SSRN our article Title IX and Menstruation, forthcoming next year in the Harvard J.L. & Gender.  Here is the abstract: “Oh no. Could I borrow a tampon or pad?” … Continue reading

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Constitutional Court of Colombia Invalidates Tax on Menstrual Hygiene Products, Requires Bogotá to Provide Supplies for Homeless Women

Mónica Arango Olaya (DPhil Student, Oxford) has a fantastic write-up of two recent decisions by the Colombian Constitutional Court: In late 2018, the Court adopted Decision C-117 of 2018, holding that a provision imposing 5% VAT tax on tampons and … Continue reading

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Goldblatt & Steele on “Inequality Related to Menstruation”

Beth Goldblatt (University of Technology Sydney) and Linda Steele (University of Technology Sydney) have published a new article, Bloody Unfair: Inequality Related to Menstruation – Considering the Role of Discrimination Law, 41 Sydney L. Rev. 293 (2019): Drawing on growing … Continue reading

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80% of Teens Report Missing Class Time or Knowing Someone Who Has Missed Class Time Because of Lack of Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

The results of a Harris Insights & Analytics poll of 1000 teens ages 13-19, sponsored by Thinx and PERIOD, are here. Some of the salient findings: Two-thirds of teens have felt stress due to lack of access to period products. … Continue reading

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Period Poverty in the U.S.

Amarica Rafanelli  at Direct Relief hosted a podcast on the topic here. Here’s a summary of the program, which features Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of Period Equity: Pads and tampons are a simple necessity, yet women across America are going without them. … Continue reading

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Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Health Law Opinions

Seema Mohapatra (Indiana-Indianapolis) and Lindsay Wiley (American University WCL) are the co-editors of a new volume-in-progress in the U.S. Feminist Judgments Series.  Their volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Health Law Opinions, will include these cases and contributors: (1) Schloendorff v. Society … Continue reading

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Are “CupAware” Events the New Tupperware Parties? Women’s Bodies as a Source of Corporate Profit

I read with interest ‘We’re Having a Menstrual Liberation’: How Periods Got Woke, published in The Guardian (U.K.). It’s a clunky and awkward title that obscures the contents of the article.   I am sitting in a hotel meeting room with … Continue reading

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NPR’s @PlanetMoney Podcast on the #TamponTax

On March 6, 2019, NPR’s Planet Money had a show Tampons: That Bloody Sales Tax that included an interview with attorney Zoe Salzman, talking about her work that contributed to New York’s repeal of the sales tax on menstrual hygiene … Continue reading

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State Legislature Watch: #Tampon Tax Repeal Bills Live in 13 States

In upcoming legislative sessions, state legislatures in these 13 states are poised to consider bills to repeal the sales tax on menstrual hygiene products: Arizona California Georgia Kentucky Maine Michigan Nebraska Ohio Tennessee Texas Virginia Washington West Virginia States that … Continue reading

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How Much Do “Free” Tampons Cost? #MenstrualCapitalism and Examples from New York State

Spurred by legislation introduced by New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, that state adopted a law that requires public schools to provide free menstrual hygiene products for students in grades 6-12. In April, 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted the news: … Continue reading

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Gambert and Linné on “The Disruptive Possibilities of Plant Milk”

Feminist Law Prof Iselin Gambert (GW) and Tobias Linné (Lund University) have posted to SSRN their article Got Mylk? The Disruptive Possibilities of Plant Milk, forthcoming in the Brooklyn Law Review (2019). Here is the abstract: Milk is one of … Continue reading

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Shaming and Blaming Mothers Under the Law: It’s Time We Stop Expecting Mothers to Be Perfect

The perfect mother is a ubiquitous, if impossible, part of American life. We see her in spandex at the gym, working out—self-care!—a week after delivering twins. She’s at center-stage when internet experts opine about how mothers can prevent teenagers’ opioid … Continue reading

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The Unconstitutional #Tampon Tax

My Pace colleague Emily Gold Waldman and I have a new draft article, The Unconstitutional Tampon Tax, forthcoming in the Richmond Law Review.  Here is the abstract: Thirty-six states impose a sales tax on menstrual hygiene products, while products like … Continue reading

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You Might be Able to Buy Tampons (and Gym Memberships) with Pre-Tax Dollars

Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) led the way in getting menstrual hygiene products included on an expanded list of products for which flexible spending account funds can be used under H.R. 6199, Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts … Continue reading

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Against Menstrual Capitalism

Menstrual equity, a phrase coined by attorney and activist Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, means “[f]airness for how women are treated in society because they menstruate.” Current menstrual equity efforts run along three identifiable, parallel tracks: (1) campaigns to repeal the state sales … Continue reading

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Kukura on “Obstetric Violence” in @GeorgetownLJ

Elizabeth Kukura (VAP, Drexel) has posted to SSRN her article Obstetric Violence, 106 Geo. L.J. 721 (2018).  Here is the abstract: Maternity care in the United States is in a state of crisis, characterized by high cesarean rates, poor performance … Continue reading

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Richmond Times Editorial Board Supports Ending Virginia’s Tampon Tax

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board on January 28, 2018: As a general rule, taxes ought to serve a single function: raising revenue for the government. Lawmakers should not use the tax code as a vehicle for social engineering — … Continue reading

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Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | 1 Comment

SMU Series on “Excavate, Energize, Equalize: Propelling American Women in Thought and Deed”

Some of you may be interested in the event linked here that I am helping to organize, along with colleagues in the SMU departments of Theology, History and English. This third event in our SMU Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute cluster … Continue reading

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Posted in Reproductive Rights, Sex and Sexuality, Upcoming Conferences, Women's Health | 1 Comment

Of Mosquitoes and “Moral Convictions”: How Rolling Back the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate Jeopardizes Women’s and Children’s Health

December 5 is the deadline to submit comments on the Trump Administration’s recent action to gut the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which requires employer-sponsored health plans to ensure women’s access to free, effective contraception.  This decision, announced in October … Continue reading

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Posted in Women's Health | 1 Comment

New Zealand Women May Get a Break on the Tampon Tax

From the (New Zealand) Dominion Post, this article about a government-appointed appointed working group that will look at the country’s goods and services tax (akin to the sales tax imposed in the U.S.): [F]inance Minister Grant Robertson said the panel … Continue reading

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How to Get Involved in Menstrual Equity Activism: Advice from Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

The indominitable Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (previously profiled on Feminist Law Profs here) has published a book called Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity (Arcade Publishing, New York: 2017).  Here is the publisher’s description: After centuries of being shrouded … Continue reading

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Women Don’t Bleed Blue (Even Yalies and Members of the Social Register)

Several years ago, Ann Bartow blogged here about U.S. advertisers’ first use of a “red dot” to illustrate blood on a menstrual hygiene pad. According to this article in the Scottish Daily Mail, an ad for Bodyform in the U.K. … Continue reading

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