House committee considers bill to provide free feminine hygiene products to women in jail

A Missouri House Committee considers a bill to provide free feminine hygiene products to women in jail.  Federal and state institutions already provide those products to inmates at no cost, but a bill sponsored by Representative Bruce DeGroot would expand that requirement to county and city jails as well.  DeGroot said women, many of them who are poor, are forced to make terrible decisions.

“Forcing them to choose between using their commissary accounts to buy feminine hygiene products as opposed to Kit Kats, or even worse yet, making a choice between phoning home and talking to their children.” 

DeGroot says this isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s an issue of human decency.

The director of a nonprofit group, Missouri Appleseed, also testified before the committee.  Elizabeth Weiss said the studies show the issue is a health concern. 

“When tampons aren’t provided, over 80% of women reported making their own homemade tampons, and of those, 27% reported infections." 

Several committee members expressed approval for the bill, but the committee hasn’t voted on the matter yet.