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House passes bill to require menstrual products in schools

May 8, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill to require New Hampshire schools to provide free feminine hygiene products to students is on its way to the governor.

The House voted 211-135 on Wednesday in favor of a bill that would require all female and gender-neutral bathrooms in middle and high schools to stock free menstrual products. Supporters say lack of access to such products contributes to “period poverty” as girls whose families can’t afford the products stay at home, or miss class when they have to get the supplies from a school nurse.

Opponents said the bill amounts to an unconstitutional unfunded mandate. Rep. Jeanine Notter, a Merrimack Republican, called the requirement a “socialist subsidy” and said even though her family had limited financial means when she was growing up, she never asked for a handout.