The Flow Initiative Celebrates Passage of Bill A1349 Offering Free Menstrual Health Products in New Jersey Public Schools
On August 23, 2023, a significant milestone was reached in New Jersey as Governor Phil Murphy signed Bill A1349 into law. This new legislation mandates that public schools must provide free menstrual health products to students in grades 6 through 12, with the state covering the associated costs. This day stands as a momentous victory for the menstrual health movement, demonstrating the state’s commitment to tackling the issue of period poverty resulting from inadequate access to menstrual health products. Present to witness this historic event was The Flow Initiative, an organization based in Jersey City that played a pivotal role in advocating and lobbying for the bill’s realization.
The visionary Eiko La Boria founded The Flow Initiative, a nationally recognized menstrual health organization which has already distributed over 1 million products to women, girls, and the LGBTQ+ community. Nationwide statistics reveal that 1 in 5 girls miss school due to period poverty, making the enactment of Bill A1349 an impactful stride toward achieving menstrual equity in New Jersey.
Eiko and her partner Sabrina Browne, a passionate advocate for addressing period poverty and menstrual equity, have cultivated partnerships with local and national organizations. Their collaborative efforts include educational workshops on menstrual health and promoting advanced menstrual health legislation. The passage of Bill A1349 stands as one of the most monumental endeavors that the organization has ardently pursued. Since 2019, they have been at the forefront of the fight for menstrual equity, educating the public and collaborating with the community to ensure access to menstrual products. Their involvement included testifying before the New Jersey State Assembly’s Women and Children Committee in June 2022, a collective effort that ultimately paved the way for the approval of Bill A1349.
Reflecting on the efforts that led to the passage of this pivotal bill, Eiko shared, “The Flow Initiative’s persistent lobbying efforts were instrumental in propelling Bill A1349 forward. We are thrilled to witness the enactment of this groundbreaking legislation. Our journey began by engaging key legislators and decision-makers, notably Assemblywoman Shanique Speight and Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, staunch supporters from the outset. We also garnered support from new bill sponsors like Assemblyman Brian Bergen, underscoring our commitment to achieving tangible change across the board. The collaborative endeavors have culminated in an extraordinary triumph for the menstrual health movement, empowering students throughout the Garden State.
Sabrina also voiced her excitement, stating, “The realization of this transformative legislation in New Jersey fills us with elation, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact it will have on our communities. Access to menstrual health products is an inherent human right, yet countless individuals cannot afford the necessary products to manage their menstrual cycles. Bill A1349 marks the initial step toward ensuring that students can experience dignified menstruation both within and beyond the classroom. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Governor Murphy and all those who turned this a reality.”
We are proud to have an organization like the Flow Initiative providing Jersey City access to free menstrual products. The organization has partnered with local libraries, community groups, and public schools to ensure access is provided to everyone in need!
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Interested in Getting Involved with the Flow Initiative?
- Stay tuned for their upcoming events by checking their Instagram and website.
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- Donate To The Flow Initiative’s GoFundMe: Your financial contribution will enable them to conduct more menstrual health education workshops, advocate for new menstrual health legislation, and accelerate product donations to vulnerable communities.