Women only get 12 pads a month in Arizona prisons, even though women use an average of 20 pads per period. There are almost 4,000 incarcerated women in AZ state prisons. Each is issued a few pads per month, and are only allowed to possess 24 pads at a time.
So, former Arizona prisoners are fighting to an unlimited supply. Several formerly incarcerated women testified, and some members of the all-male panel expressed their discomfort. When Representative Athena Salman presented her bill to get women in prison an unlimited supply of pads and tampons, a panel member said he didn’t expect he’d actually have to be hearing about the pads, tampons and periods themselves.
Now, women are sending money and feminine products and using the hashtag #LetItFlow, to express their support for better care in Arizona’s female prisons.
The bill has cleared at a committee hearing with a 5-4 vote, and representatives are even apologizing for the mistreatment the former inmates faced.
House Representative Eric Descheenie stated, “When we humiliate on levels that no man can understand — none of us will over understand what that feels like — the mere fact that we are speaking so strongly about it, about this bill as if we know a thing or two about it, is irresponsible.”