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National Period Day rally to push for more affordable menstrual hygiene products

Tomorrow is National Period Day, and a rally in Seattle will advocate for more affordable menstrual hygiene products.

Washington state has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, and in Seattle it’s even higher. And for many people, especially homeless and low-income individuals, menstrual hygiene products are often unaffordable because of an additional tax imposed on them.

PERIOD, an organization seeking to make menstrual hygiene products accessible to all, is helping to host a rally tomorrow to push for the end of taxation on those products.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Kristine Reeves (D-Federal Way) this year would have made menstrual hygiene products sales tax-exempt. Prior efforts in the Washington Legislature to eliminate the so-called "pink tax" haven't passed, but the proposal could come up again during the 2020 session.

In February 2019, a citywide study in St. Louis found that 46 percent of low-income women were forced to choose between purchasing a meal or menstrual products.

If the House bill were to pass, Washington would join 25 states who already have abolished taxes on menstrual products. Tomorrow’s rally is being held at Cal Anderson Park from 12-3 p.m.