End the Tampon Tax in Ohio!
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Each year, Ohioan menstruators are taxed over $4 MILLION just on tampons and pads because they are not considered necessities. According to Ohio law, menstrual products are deemed non-essential goods and when taking local and state taxes into account, menstrual products are taxed between 6.50-8%, thereby implying that menstrual hygiene is unnecessary -- a luxury. However, other products like Viagra, penile pumps and men’s suspensories are not taxed. This exemption needs to be extended to menstrual products because MENSTRUAL HYGIENE IS NOT A PRIVILEGE; IT IS A RIGHT!
For the average consumer, this tax can become burdensome, as menstruators are already expected to pay $11,000 during their lifetime on tampons alone, not including other menstrual care expenses. Also, standing higher than the National Poverty Rate, 14.6% of Ohioans are estimated to be in poverty. The luxury tax placed on menstrual products coupled with these statistics reiterate how pressing the issue of period poverty is in the state of Ohio.
And when we say it is a right, we mean it. The U.N Human Rights Watch views access to clean, safe, and affordable menstrual products as a human right; a simple biological factor shouldn’t be a barrier to equality. Further, the average family in a shelter consists of a single mother with very young kids trying to get out of poverty. For her, it’s a decision between getting food on the table for her family or addressing her menstrual cycle. In a world where women are already paid less than men, menstruators should not be forced to pay extra for something that is natural.
The misclassification of menstrual products as luxury items instead of Medical necessities can often result in fatal consequences such as Toxic Shock Syndrome. One of the primary factors leading to Toxic Shock Syndrome is wearing tampons for over the 6-8 hour long recommendation. Ultimately, the expensive cost of a menstrual cycle makes individuals in poverty more susceptible to Toxic Shock Syndrome, and therefore by removing the luxury tax we are enabling menstruators to live their healthiest lives.
In Ohio, over half of the population menstruates, and the Tampon Tax only adds unwarranted pressure for these individuals. Additionally, the Luxury Tax imposed on Menstrual products puts a more unfair obligation on the LGBTQ community. For instance, lesbian couples face an unfair tax obligation to pay twice as more for a medical necessity.
Our hope is to eliminate this tax one state at a time, which would be a huge step in achieving gender equality and opening up the conversation on menstrual hygiene. As fellow citizens, menstruators and non-menstruators alike, it is our civic duty to note injustice and act upon it. We cannot allow people to pay a luxury tax for a natural bodily function.
We are calling on the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, to repeal the Tampon Tax, and we need your help to do so. We are also calling on Richard Cordray, the Democratic Candidate for Ohio Governor, to advocate for the same. Our goal is 100,000 signatures in 30 days, join us!
Sign this petition, share it with your friends, and help Ohio join the Menstrual Movement along with New York, Washington D.C., Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida in creating change for millions of menstruators and demanding systemic change towards gender equality.
PERIOD at The Ohio State University:
This petition was started by the efforts of the PERIOD Chapter at The Ohio State University in conjunction with the National PERIOD Nonprofit. It is currently being spearheaded by the Ohio State University Chapter leaders Anusha Singh, Ameer Abdulrahman, Bryan An and Founder/ Executive Director of PERIOD, Nadya Okamoto. As representatives of the OSU Chapter, they are meeting with government officials and actively engaging students in policy change.
Although a fairly new student organization, PERIOD at The Ohio State is already rallying up campus-wide support for various policy initiatives on campus, as well as in the Columbus area and in the state of Ohio.
PERIOD is the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health in the world. We provide and celebrate menstrual hygiene through service, education, and policy — through the global distribution of period products to those in need, and engagement of youth leadership through a nationwide network of campus chapters. In the last two years, we have addressed over 300,000 periods and have registered over 180 campus chapters at universities and high schools in the United States and abroad.
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