Parker and Hill-Evans’ menstrual equity legislation passes House

Both lawmakers urge Senate to consider menstrual equity legislation

Legislation authored by State Rep. Darisha Parker to establish a grant program for schools to provide free menstrual products to students on Tuesday passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

“We have fought tirelessly for menstrual equity for women and girls in Pennsylvania and House Bill 851’s passage is a step closer to that goal,” Parker, D-Phila., said. “I never want another young girl entering womanhood to experience embarrassment or consider themselves as less than because of a natural biological process.”

Parker said she was extremely motivated by the advocacy of Gov. Josh Shapiro and First Lady Lori Shapiro for menstrual equity in Pennsylvania, referring to Shapiro’s call for $3 million to provide menstrual products for students in his annual budget proposal.

“I am incredibly grateful to everyone who helped move Pennsylvania women forward by fighting for and passing menstrual hygiene legislation,” Parker said. “I want to thank my colleagues and advocates, especially Lynette Medley, founder of No More Secrets, who stood with me to advocate for women across the commonwealth, not just during menstrual awareness month or on Tampon Tuesday – but every day!”

Parker said this bill will move to the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee as did her previous menstrual hygiene bill, House Bill 850. That bill would allow women who participate in SNAP or WIC to purchase period products using those programs; it’s currently awaiting a vote in the Senate Health and Human Services committee.

“I truly urge my colleagues in the Senate to move quickly on both pieces  of legislation,” Parker said. “Not only at Gov. Shapiro’s request but for women and girls across the commonwealth.”