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Forget the tampon tax—one Congresswoman is lobbying for them to be free


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Photo: Stocksy/Natalie Jeffcott

What’s a girl gotta do to get a free tampon in this country? A lot. But that isn’t stopping one New York congresswoman from working her hardest to make it happen. While currently 12 states don’t have a tampon tax, that means 38 still do, and many are working to end it. But in Rep. Grace Meng’s opinion, that’s just not good enough.

“We’ve heard stories about girls in New York City who are too embarrassed or couldn’t afford these products. Some of them have used a rag and some would just skip school for a few days. And that’s just heartbreaking for me,” she tells People magazine.

“We’ve heard stories about girls in New York City who are too embarrassed or couldn’t afford these products. And that’s just heartbreaking for me.”

It’s why last month she introduced the Menstrual Equality For All Act of 2017, which would allow people to use their Flexible Spending Accounts to buy pads and tampons. It would also give low-income women a tax credit toward the products, allow homeless shelters to use federal funding to buy menstrual supplies, and require states to provide them to inmates at no charge (women in prison often do not receive these free of charge, which is a human rights issue, Meng says).

Right now there is not only a demand for tampons (duh), but for organic tampons in particular. This month, Thinx started selling 100 percent organic tampons, which sold out in less than 24 hours, according to Fast Company.

Thinx tampons
Photo: Thinx

And the brand isn’t stopping there: This summer, it will expand its tampon line by introducing a reusable applicator.

When it comes to menstrual realness, things are getting, well, real. And it’s leading to some very good changes.

While you wait for Thinx to stock back up, here are six tampons and pad brands that are all-natural. And speaking of pads, yes, more women are getting back into them.

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