*Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to clarify that the products could help transgendered students.
SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico lawmakers are step closer to funding free menstrual products in public school bathrooms around the state. House members approved a bill on the matter late Monday, March 6, but some are expressing concern about what might happen to feminine products in boys’ bathrooms.
House Bill 134 seeks to offer free menstrual products to students. Sponsored by a group of four Democratic lawmakers, the bill would add New Mexico to the list of states that already offer students free access to feminine hygiene products, according to an analysis by the Legislative Finance Committee. California, Delaware, Maine, Utah, New York, Nevada and other states are among those with similar laws.
The idea is to help ensure that any student who needs menstrual products can access them, including transgendered students who use boys’ restrooms. But some legislators thought the products shouldn’t be openly dispensed in boys’ bathrooms.
“Kids, I’m just going to say in general, will be kids. They’re going to do stupid things with these,” Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Tijeras & Edgewood) told the house on Monday. “I just see further humiliation and further bullying,” if the products aren’t kept out of the hands of kids who don’t need them, Lord explained.
Lord clarified that she’s supportive of giving out products. But she suggested that maybe a token system, or some other system, could be used to ensure that the products aren’t wasted by kids who don’t need them.
The bill requires that products be available in at least one men’s bathroom in each middle school, junior high school, secondary school and high school.
Despite the concerns, the majority of the House voted in favor of the bill. Only Republican legislators voted against the bill, but not every Republican opposed it. Now, the bill heads to the state Senate for more scrutiny.