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Legislation Making Menstrual Products Available to Virginia Students Moves on to Full Senate

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Lawmakers are considering a bill to make menstrual products available at all schools in Virginia.

Evie Garces-Foley is a high school student in Falls Church, and she travelled to Richmond to explain to lawmakers the importance of having menstrual products available to students.

“I got my period in the middle of a standardized test in ninth grade, and there wasn’t anything I could do because there weren't any products in the bathroom for me to be able to use," she said. "And I couldn’t ask a friend because everyone was testing. So I kind of just sat there miserable.”

Senator Jennifer Boysko of Herndon says no student should ever have to go through something like that. That’s why she introduced a bill that would require school boards across Virginia to make pads and tampons available at all times at no cost to students.

“This is something that nationwide people are recognizing," Boysko says. "Actually even around the world, that we need to make sure that our girls are able to maintain their education without interruption.”

Boysko has already tried to pass this bill twice before, only to come up short both times. But that was when Republicans were in power. Now that Democrats are in control, the bill has already sailed through subcommittee and committee without a single vote of opposition. And it’s now headed to the Senate floor.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.