Resistbot Petition: HB 30: Supporting Health, Safety, & Dignity of Incarcerated Women (Ohio only)Resistbot Petition: HB 30: Supporting Health, Safety, & Dignity of Incarcerated Women (Ohio only)

An open letter to State Legislatures (Ohio only)

HB 30: Supporting Health, Safety, & Dignity of Incarcerated Women

19 so far! Help us get to 25 signers!

I am writing in support of House Bill 30 (HB 30), the Menstrual Equity Act, to provide free menstrual hygiene products to incarcerated women as a function of basic healthcare and safety. HB 30 is a comprehensive initiative that promotes common goals: ● Public Health: A survey of incarcerated women in federal prisons found 22% had experienced vaginal infections (1). These are often preventable infections that can cause susceptibility to cervical cancer and infertility and can become life-threatening. Menstrual products are essential to reproductive health and should be treated as such. ● Basic Hygiene: In Ohio, incarcerated women work up to 70 hours to afford a box of tampons, and 60% of those surveyed cannot afford these basic necessities, leading them to make their own menstrual products or go without (2, 1). Menstrual products are integral to health and safety; without access, women face: ● Medical Consequences: The follow-up to the aforementioned survey found decreased infection rates after free menstrual products were provided to incarcerated women (1). Providing access to menstrual products is a proactive solution that would reduce infections and medical costs and improve safety. ● Safety and Abuse: Incarcerated women rely entirely on correctional staff to meet their medical needs. When correctional officers withhold menstrual products, the women in their custody are subject to the humiliation and health concerns caused by lack of access. Additionally, some correctional officers have used access to menstrual products to coerce women into sex. Incarcerated women should have full access to menstrual products. Furthermore, they should not face threats of abuse or assault when seeking access to menstrual products and reproductive care. I urge you to pass HB 30 to ensure that incarcerated women are treated with basic dignity. (1) Missouri Appleseed. (2023, April). Menstrual Product Access in Missouri Prisons and Jails. St. Louis, MO (2) According to the Prison Policy Initiative, wages for incarcerated people in Ohio range from .10-$1.23, and a box of tampons cost $7, resulting in incarcerated women working up to 70 hours to afford a box of tampons.

▶ Created on September 11 by Courtesy Cups

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