Bleeding Out: End Tampon Tax In California

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   Imagine having to choose between your job and your family. Impossible, right? Well, this is a dilemma many women across the United States face every time they enter the grocery store. With tight budgets, many women can’t afford to pay $7-$10 every month for feminine hygiene products and still be able to purchase food for their family. Their jobs depend on spotless appearances, and their families depend on them, and yet, many have to choose between the two. The cause of this choice is a tax on feminine hygiene products, known as the “tampon tax.”

  In the United States’ tax codes, all “tangible personal property,” requires taxing, except for select “necessities” such as groceries and medical purchases. However, period products, such as tampons and sanitary napkins, are deemed as “luxuries” rather than “necessities.” However, not having products necessary to “taking care” of a woman's menstruation, results in shame and often public humiliation, as visible leakages are seen as disgusting and offensive.

  As of June 2017, only 9 states were completely free of the “tampon tax,” and to my surprise, my home-state of California was not on the list. As a young woman who is passionate about equal rights, especially regarding gender inequality,  I was appalled that my own state supported this unjust tax. However, after conducting some research, I discovered I wasn’t alone. Cristina Garcia, a California assemblywoman, joined the task in abolishing this tax. According to Garcia’s office, in Just California alone, over $20 million are spent annually on the “tampon tax.” Horrified by the unnecessary amount of money spent on a basic necessity, Garcia proposed the Assembly Bill 1561 in 2016, but the Bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.

  There is proof of the power of a petition. In the summer of 2015, Canada abolished its own “tampon tax” after thousands of people signed a passionate online petition. With your help, this petition could grow to a size that Governor Jerry Brown would be foolish to ignore. Join the mission to abolish the “tampon tax” in California, and prevent thousands of other mothers from having to make this difficult choice.