Free feminine hygiene products on college campuses

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- Women at Western Kentucky University have a hard time finding feminine hygiene products on campus. Cost and scarce availability of those products is causing frustration for some students, but that could soon change.

A new bill if passed could mean that all of Kentucky’s public colleges and universities will have to provide free sanitary products to students.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville could help women who need access to sanitary products for emergencies, and who are already financially strained.

“I never really carry around change and they only take change. So the fact that they cost money when it’s an emergency is stressful,” Abigail Cross, Student at Western Kentucky University.

The non-profit Free the Tampon reports that 86% of American women report getting their period unexpectedly without access to supplies they needed.

“I feel for women the campus would be less stressful, because there wouldn’t be that constant worry of do I have what I need,” said Cross.

A larger issue seems to be that some bathrooms at WKU don’t have tampon or pad dispensaries at all.

“I usually call a friend who’s nearby hopefully not in class and see if maybe they’ll bring you one, but mostly panic,” said Cross.

Last year, a group of women students at the University of Louisville approached Rep. Scott about the need for free sanitary products on campuses around Kentucky.

“If they’re willing to give out free condoms then I don’t see why they couldn’t do the same for feminine hygienic products,” said Cross.

U of L’s now provides free tampons and pads at 26 locations on three campuses, and WKU could soon follow

Going forward a major challenge will be taxation. Kentucky puts a sales tax on sanitary products. Eleven states currently exempt them.