National Movement to Abolish Sales Tax on Tampons Turns Local

Last week, state Representative, Sarah Roberts, introduced two bills that joined a national movement: to abolish the sales tax on feminine hygiene products.

The “tampon tax” is currently being debated across the country and Michigan has now joined the conversation, as lawmakers consider lifting the luxury tax on pads and tampons. Many feel as though this tax is demanding an unfair cost for women, essentially making women pay, literally, for menstruating.

This issue has become a global one in the past year. Canada abolished their tampon tax last July. Other countries such as Australia and Malaysia are petitioning and fighting for the tax to be lifted; in London, “free-bleed” protesters stood outside Parliament last November wearing white pants while menstruating. In New York, a group of five women sued the state tax department in early March due to the tax on feminine products.

Currently, the tax in the U.S. is being revised nationwide, with five states already abolishing the tax and five others who simply don’t have sales tax at all.

One of the bills, introduced by State Representative Roberts, would eliminate the six percent state sales tax on all feminine hygiene products, including tampons, sanitary napkins, and more. The second bill would require state building and public school bathrooms to provide free sanitary napkins and tampons to girls and women.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Roberts spoke out about the nature of having a menstrual cycle, saying that having a period has been a natural part of a woman’s life since the beginning of time.

In introducing the bills, Roberts made a point to note that they are also expensive, and considering the pay gap between women and men – another hot topic in women’s rights – the cost of being a woman seems quite expensive.



Megan Martin

Megan Martin

Megan Martin is a Communications Specialist at M3 group and a graduate of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. She is a foodie who loves art, tea, and anything outdoorsy.

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