Missouri bill would require free tampons in prisons

Woman choosing between tampons and sanitary pads

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Women in Missouri prisons could get free access to tampons and sanitary napkins under a bill moving through the state House.

House members in a Tuesday voice vote gave initial approval to the proposal .

St. Louis-area Democratic Rep. Tracy McCreery pitched the idea as an amendment to another bill.

She told colleagues on the House floor that women in Missouri prisons often can’t afford quality tampons and sanitary napkins. McCreery says many women instead make their own, and she says that leads to health issues.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons last year mandated that feminine hygiene products be available to all female inmates in federal institutions at no cost. Corrections officials and lawmakers in other states have also been moving toward offering free feminine hygiene products at state prisons.

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