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Editorial: Feminine hygiene products should be accessible, if not free

On OU's campus, the Women's Center is one of the few locations where free pads or tampons are available to women.

Most women menstruate at some point in their life — there’s really no avoiding that, or the feminine hygiene products women have to buy as a result of their monthly cycles.

Though the cost of feminine hygiene products isn’t necessarily outrageous, it’s still a $5 to $10 expense a woman probably has to pay each month. It’s a standard grocery item, along with food and household cleaning products.

So it shouldn’t be something Athens County women — many of whom are living below the poverty line — have to ask for. It should be something they are guaranteed.

Feminine hygiene products cannot be purchased with food stamps, and often are not provided for free in public spaces, unless, almost laughably, if one is in a “fancier” restaurant that displays tampons and pads in women’s restrooms along with hairspray, tissue and mints.

On Ohio University’s campus, there are few locations where women can grab a free tampon or pad. Students could stop by the Women’s Center in Baker Center, though it’d be easier to have the products available for free in women’s restrooms.

Because feminine hygiene products are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased in bulk, local health clinics and any city building with a public restroom might make the effort to purchase enough to provide periodically for women to take without having to ask what’s often an awkward question.

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An Ohio University student has proved that there is interest in such initiatives through her “Period Product,” which has raised $500 to buy feminine hygiene products for women in Athens County. That will purchase hundreds of pads and tampons.

The initiative is one we strongly support, but it shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of an OU freshman to take care of underserved women in Athens County.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Emma Ockerman, Managing Editor Rebekah Barnes and Digital Managing Editor Samuel Howard. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage. 

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