SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – After local students asked legislators to provide access to menstrual products in school bathrooms, New Mexico’s Legislature has granted their request. Now, it’s up to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to sign off on the idea.
House Bill 134, sponsored by Democratic legislators, would require public schools to offer menstrual products in bathrooms. The bill requires products be freely available in each women’s bathroom and gender-neutral bathroom in every public middle, junior high, secondary school, and high school. The bill also requires those schools to offer free menstrual products in at least one men’s bathroom. Elementary schools would also have products available in some bathrooms.
Legislators have generally been supportive of the idea of offering sanitary pads or tampons to students who need them. But in the course of debate on the bill, some legislators expressed concern about putting the products in men’s bathrooms.
During earlier debate, Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Tijeras & Edgewood) argued that kids would be likely to “do stupid things” with tampons or pads in the boy’s bathrooms. But bill supporters claim making products available in boy’s bathrooms ensures that any transgendered kids who might need the products have access.
Tuesday, March 14, the bill received final approval in the Legislature. Now, the bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.