New York, NY Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today announced that her legislation to raise awareness about endometriosis and other common menstrual disorders became law. The bill will require schools and health care practitioners to provide people who menstruate with easy-to-understand information about common menstrual disorders, such as endometriosis.
As a result of the stigma that continues to shroud periods, millions needlessly suffer in silence for years with undiagnosed menstrual disorders. Information is power, and this legislation will help empower young people to understand their bodies and demand treatment. It will also help to smash the stigma by fostering discussion in the classroom, said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF- Manhattan). We cannot break down barriers if we do not talk about menstruation and menstrual disorders, and this new legislation into law will help push the conversation around periods to the fore in schools statewide," she said.
Approximately one in ten people in United States suffers from endometriosis. Despite it being among the most common menstrual disorders, most menstruators suffer for ten or more years in excruciating pain before getting a diagnosis. Endometriosis is the leading cause of infertility and hysterectomy in the US, and it is a known precursor to ovarian cancer. Early menstrual education is imperative. Further, open dialogue around menstrual disorders will help eliminate the shame that so often keeps young people from seeking support.
New York is a national leader on menstrual equity. We passed my bills to ax the tax on tampons, to require menstrual product ingredient labeling, and to require free menstrual products in schools and correctional facilities statewide. Access is vital, but its only one piece of the broader menstrual movement; this legislation is about raising awareness and creating empowerment, said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.
Senator Sue Serino said, "Since introducing this legislation, I have heard from countless women who spent years suffering in silence while unknowingly dealing with the devastating side effects of endometriosis and other menstrual disorders. By providing young women with critically important resources that will empower them to seek help sooner, we have the potential to help reverse the statistics that make endometriosis the leading cause of infertility among women. This legislation can truly be life changing for so many women and I am grateful to my partners in the legislature, Senator Monica Martinez and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, for helping to get this bill over the finish line, and I thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of this legislation and signing it into law.
Thank you, Senator Sue Serino and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, for introducing this landmark bill in 2018 and thank you, Senator Monica Martinez, for taking up the charge in 2019. With awareness comes early diagnosis, which is the first step towards treatment. Your dedication to this cause will have an unparalleled impact on endometriosis patients and help them get the treatment they deserve. I am certain that this bill will change the course of womens history. Tamer Seckin, MD., Founder Endometriosis Foundation of America (EndoFound.org)
We are proud to be a part of this historic event - and our goal is to advocate for similar legislation in the other 49 states so that young girls (and boys) can recognize the disease earlier, and get the treatment they need earlier, without being misdiagnosed, misunderstood and mistreated for years, Margaret Cianci, Executive Director, Endometriosis Foundation of America (Endofound.org)
Today, women with endometriosis can celebrate a monumental step towards progress! Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for recognizing the importance of early education of signs and symptoms of endometriosis. This law will help young women from suffering in silence longer than they must. Now they can be empowered with the knowledge so they can advocate for themselves, and seek proper treatment as soon as possible, Diana Falzone, Journalist.
Assemblymember Rosenthal was the author of 2016 legislation that successfully axed the state and local sales tax on menstrual products. Her legislation made New York the first state in the nation to require menstrual product ingredient labeling on the product packaging. She was the prime sponsor of legislation requiring free menstrual products to public and charter school students statewide in grades 6 through 12. She authored legislation which requires menstrual products to be provided free to individuals incarcerated in state and local correctional facilities. She is the author of legislation to require menstrual products be provided free to individuals in shelters statewide and the TAMPACT (Total Access to Menstrual Products), which would require menstrual products be provided for free in public restrooms as is toilet paper. The bill was sponsored by Senator Martinez after Sue Serino.
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the Chair of the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. She represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Hells Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.