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How Scotland Is Putting Women’s Reproductive Health First

HelloFlo is a womens health company committed to normalizing the conversations we have about womens bodies so that we can all live healthier lives.

Scotland is giving low-income women free menstrual products

Scotland understands that menstrual products are not a luxury and have now made them available for free for low-income people who menstruate.

“A pilot scheme is a welcome step in the right direction, but we must go much further to help women and girls across the country who are facing a monthly struggle to access the products they need,” explains Monica Lennon, a member of Scottish Parliament, according to The Scotsman.

More: What we can learn from Middle Eastern women about fighting for reproductive care

Lennon’s statement reflects on the six-month trial that Scotland is dipping its toes in the water with. The pilot program aims to provide menstrual products to low-income women in schools and women’s and homeless shelters.

But Lennon has loftier goals. She’s proposed a blanket bill that would make menstrual products free for all women.

In the United States, a menstruating person is expected to spend about $2,500 in their lifetime on menstrual products. Currently, only some cities, New York City being one of them, offer menstrual products for free in shelters and in schools.

More: Reproductive Health Options Are Nonexistent for Homeless Women

Representatives, including Rep. Grace Meng of New York, are fighting to create more awareness of how much financial distress purchasing these items could be for some people and has proposed legislation that would help counter the financial burden.

“Menstrual hygiene products are not ubiquitous and cheap, despite what popular culture would have us believe,” states Meng. “Although most women use these products, many struggle to afford or access these essential items. This is unacceptable.”

More: Why we march — women share their biggest health concerns

Scotland’s trial program may be the first step toward countries as a whole acknowledging how important offering free to low-cost menstrual products — and other vital health solutions — is.

By Vivian Nunez

Originally published on HelloFlo.

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