Michigan menstruaters, rejoice! Only one final step stands between us and finally not having products we need for our health and hygiene being taxed as "luxuries."

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Michigan House Bills 4270 and 5267

Recently we told you about the "pink tax" and how there was bipartisan legislation on it's way up through the Michigan legislative process that could make it so feminine hygiene products would no longer be taxed at the same 6% sales tax as other "non-essentials."

Now, we are pleased to share these two bills have passed through the House Tax Policy Committee and all that remains is a final vote in the Michigan House of Representatives.

If passed, according to FOX 47 News, this would mean menstrual products like "tampons, maxi pads, reusable menstrual cups, and other menstrual hygiene products" would join products like prescription drugs and other medical goods in being exempt from taxation.

"Period Poverty" and Why This Matters

“With these bills making it through committee, we are that much closer as a state to eliminating this unjust tax, helping those struggling with period poverty, and creating a more equitable world for women and girls," state rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) told FOX 47. "Now it’s time to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this essential legislation becomes law.”

So what exactly is "period poverty" as Representative Kuppa mentioned?

Well, according to the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), "Period poverty refers to the inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and educations, including but not limited to sanitary products, washing facilities, and waste management."

AMWA also says that not only does the "Pink Tax" or "Tampon Tax" contribute to "period poverty" but by these products being inaccessible to women and girls who need them, it actually poses serious health risks.

"Period Poverty" also can inhibit a young woman's access to her education as many women who cannot afford or access products to help them manage their menstruation will often miss school to manage it.

Ending the "Tampon Tax" is a Game-Changer

At the end of the day, while this tax may not affect everyone, it does affect menstruating women and those who have to buy these products. It especially affects those who already struggle with accessing and being able to afford it.

In our previous coverage of this legislation, we found a staggering statistic from Western Herald that this tax costs women in Michigan an total average of about $7 million.

SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS.

Can you imagine what good being able to plug that back into our communities would be?

Maybe that extra money could be used in continuing the fight against period poverty, making these products and resources available to more women out there.

Maybe it doesn't even have to be that, maybe it could just be women can use that extra money to get themselves an extra pint of ice cream to feel better during what is a pretty rough time of the month.

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