Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Announces TAMP Act – Total Access to Menstrual Products Act – Requiring Tampons, Pads to be Made Freely Available in Every Bathroom Statewide

March 8, 2018

New York, NY – On International Women’s Day, Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan), announces new legislation, the TAMP (Total Access to Menstrual Products) Act, which would require every restroom in New York State to provide tampons and sanitary napkins free of charge.

Assemblymember Rosenthal, who gave a TEDMED talk on menstrual equity in November which was released today, was the author of the 2016 law that successfully axed the tax on tampons, sanitary napkins and other menstrual hygiene products.

“No one walks around with a personal roll of toilet paper for public emergencies or expects to put a quarter into a machine in exchange for a square of toilet paper in a public restroom, said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The need for tampons and sanitary napkins is not different than for toilet paper. What is different, however, is the way we think about them and therefore, treat them. That begins to end today, with the TAMP Act.”

The TAMP Act, which will be assigned a number shortly, will require tampons and sanitary napkins be made available in public restrooms across the state - from government facilities, to schools and universities, to homeless shelters and correctional facilities, to fast food restaurant and office buildings, to name a few.

The movement to "Free the Tampon" began in 2013, with a TedX talk given by advertising executive Nancy Kramer. Since then, 14 states have eliminated the tax on memorial hygiene products, and 24 others have legislation pending to do so. Many states, including New York, have moved to provide these products free in schools and correctional facilities.

At the foundation of the movement toward menstrual equity is the recognition that menstrual hygiene products are necessities that have been singled out for historically biased treatment as a result of stigma and misunderstanding about the biological functions of half the population.

“No one bats at eye when they see a roll of toilet paper at the airport or in a McDonald’s restroom; in fact, we expect it. My goal with this legislation is to make the same true of menstrual hygiene products, which are as important as toilet paper to more than half the population one week a month for half a lifetime,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the sponsor of legislation, recently included in the proposed 2018-19 Executive budget, to require that menstrual hygiene products be made available for free to students in schools statewide. She is also the sponsor of legislation to require these products be provided free in shelters and correctional facilities and county lock ups statewide, and to include information about tampon and sanitary napkin product ingredients on product packaging so consumers know what they are putting in or on their bodies.