California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that will require California public schools serving students in grades 6-12 to stock free menstrual products in women's bathrooms, all-gender bathrooms, and at least one men's bathroom.
"On or before the start of the 2022–23 school year, a public school, including a school operated by a school district, county office of education, or charter school, maintaining any combination of classes from grades 6 to 12, inclusive, shall stock the school's restrooms at all times with an adequate supply of menstrual products, available and accessible, free of cost, in all women's restrooms and all-gender restrooms, and in at least one men's restroom," the legislation states.
The Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021 will also require the California State University and each community college district to offer free menstrual products in at least one location on every campus.
The legislation describes having access to such products as a fundamental "human right."
"California recognizes that access to menstrual products is a basic human right and is vital for ensuring the health, dignity, and full participation of all Californians in public life," the legislation declares.
"California has an interest in promoting gender equity, not only for women and girls, but also for transgender men, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people who may also menstruate and experience inequities resulting from lack of access to menstrual products," the legislation also states.
"It is the intent of the Legislature that this act provide for the health, dignity, and safety of menstruating students at every socioeconomic level, normalize menstruation among all genders, and foster gender competency in California schools, colleges, and universities," the bill reads.
Currently in California, public schools serving students in grades 6-12 from low-income families must supply free feminine hygiene products in at least half of bathrooms.