CLEVELAND — Ohio just proved that a state where one party has a supermajority doesn’t always spell the end of cooperation and compromise. What happens when four women, all Democrats, work with open-minded senators from both parties, plus students and civic groups? You get a bipartisan budget agreement requiring Ohio schools to provide free menstrual supplies to students in grades 6 through 12.
Ask any woman whether her period has ever started in public without a pad or tampon at hand and she’ll inevitably tell you a story about scrambling around to find supplies before her clothes were stained. The situation for a school-aged girl is even more likely to cause embarrassment, anxiety, and stress, especially if she’s one of the 18% of Ohio girls living in poverty, struggling to afford menstrual products — and sometimes leaving products in place longer than recommended, which can cause infections and other health problems.