Congresswoman called ‘period lady’ wants all woman to have access to hygiene products

New York Rep. Grace Meng has scored victories in making period products a fundamental right.
7:06 | 10/18/19

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Transcript for Congresswoman called ‘period lady’ wants all woman to have access to hygiene products
Men's relating to should not be a taboo subject I want people to understand fully. That it. Having your Peary did is a natural bodily function and not something that we can control. And therefore is something that we should not be ashamed of hi my name is great saying and on Capitol Hill and often referred to as the period lady I don't mind being called that and at that gets even a few people to ask anymore about this issue I'm. What comes with that is they need to change the standard of how we think. And the protocol of how these products are provided we don't think twice about providing twisted paper and ray we don't think twice about providing hands so. Or paper towels and a restroom and even when we're talking about. Flexible spending accounts for a working person. We allow them to use those special accounts to five products like contact lenses. Band aids and crutches. We don't allow them Dubai. Menstrual hygiene products. So one of my goals is really to change that thinking that mantra hygiene products are luxury items. And that they are a necessary. Part. Of living. Just like other things that we already assume. Last and I was in congress I received a letter from a young student. In Queens and she wrote about how. These items which are one of the top slot after items from homeless shelters. But people were not able to obtain these items because of the restrictions on the grants that the shelters had. And so we'd dug into this issue and the more we learned about it the more shocking aunt lives and it's still it is. So we learned for example that. If you are visiting a homeless shelter and you need these products that you were not able to get them. We learned that there are students not just in underdeveloped countries around the world. But students right here in New York City and throughout this country. That have to stay home every month when they receive these products because their family can't afford it. And we learned about people in our prison system. Who have to ration or are on April 2 Pepsi's products free of charge. I began talking about town bonds and tax policy. Testifying in front of mostly male colleagues on the house Ways and Means Committee in front of the New York City county home. Pop out how there is a significant population in individuals. Cannot afford man's heightened violence here where a lot of people. Flawed and told me that I shouldn't be talking about these types. Public. I feel that this could be an issue that people both parties get behind. Obviously you people in both parties' demands for early and no people who get their periods. And so I will work with anyone to make sure that more people have access to these products. So we actually first road to. The administration. The Obama administration. About the issue. People who are incarcerated not having sufficient and free access to these products. I was towards the end of the Obama administration. So away and the new administration came in we were concerned because we weren't sure. What their attitude would be. However. Soon into the new trump administration. We did get word when he received correspondence that they would and they agreed to change the regulations. So facts incarcerating people's would be able to get free access to these products. However there's still a long way to go for example Eden in my own workplace and Capitol Hill. These items are not freely accessible. Facilities items still costs money supply in our Capitol Hill bathrooms. A lot of the times. These facilities are an evening stocked with the products we even if you pay for it you might not be because the products. And what. Good. These postcards come from all over the country thinking for introducing the menstrual equality for all act. I'm long has the need for pads and tampons. But I certainly can relate to the shame and there's and discomfort. I've not having them when needed. You know how we all have code words for how you describe that time of the month your friends here your arts theater or. Most of us have you know utilize those whereas before. Which is basically a symbol of being embarrassed about it and feeling like you have to hide it I think almost everyone can relate EU member a situation where you were. In a public phase and the public building. And you've got your period and you didn't know what to do because either you didn't have money on you or ignoring her drugstore. And we just think that this is a natural part of our human bodies is is not something that we can control these are not products. Luxury products that we choose to use for ourselves. And slow as long as there are people who feel that they have to be in hiding or can't go to school or work. Without accessing these products. I will keep working this issue.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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