Michigan City to Require Free Menstrual Products in All Public Restrooms: NPR

A student stocks a school bathroom with free towels and tampons to promote menstrual equity at Justice High School in Falls Church, Va., In 2019.

Alastair Pike / AFP via Getty Images


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Alastair Pike / AFP via Getty Images


A student stocks a school bathroom with free towels and tampons to promote menstrual equity at Justice High School in Falls Church, Va., In 2019.

Alastair Pike / AFP via Getty Images

Ann Arbor will require all public toilets in town to carry menstrual products under a new ordinance that goes into effect in January.

This means that towels and tampons, as well as soap and toilet paper, will need to be available free of charge in all public restrooms in the city of Michigan.

“As a society, for too long we haven’t taken menstruation seriously,” Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor told NPR. “Access to menstrual products is a basic human necessity.”

Some states and cities in the United States already provide free menstrual products in some places, such as schools and homeless shelters, but Taylor said he believes Ann Arbor was the first jurisdiction to require them in all public toilets.

“It is a matter of fairness and personal dignity,” he said. “I am just happy that we were able to provide a public good at a low cost. “

Last year, Scotland became the first country to offer free menstrual products.

Taylor said he came up with the order after hearing from a high school student who was concerned that people with no established residence would have difficulty obtaining menstrual products. Ann Arbor City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on Monday.

It comes just weeks after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed two laws repealing the state’s tax on menstrual products, claiming it would save residents up to $ 4,800 in expenses in one. life.

The Ann Arbor ordinance applies to all public toilets regardless of gender, but it does not include private residences.

Violators could pay a civil fine not exceeding $ 100.


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