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Sometimes it can seem like you have to pay extra for just being a woman. Pads and tampons will cost the average woman $18,171 over the course of her lifetime.

Socioeconomic status can make a period quite embarrassing for a woman who can’t afford the products. Furthermore, many women believe we shouldn’t have to be economically punished by paying to take care of something that comes naturally.

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sided with women, signing into legislation free menstrual products for all NYC schools, shelters, and jails.

“There should be no stigma around something as fundamental as menstruation. These laws recognize that feminine hygiene products are a necessity — not a luxury.” ~ Mayor Bill de Blasio

This legislation makes New York City the first in the nation to provide free menstruation products for women in public institutions. The new laws will provide feminine products for over 300,000 girls in schools and over 23,000 NYC women living in shelters. Jails already provide free tampons and pads; however, distribution and availability have been inadequate. These new laws will require jails to provide these products to incarcerated women, immediately, upon request.

The next move is to take this law and utilize it to implement a statewide law that no longer taxes menstrual products. According to The New York Times, Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law later this year.

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