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Columbus Council Approves Free Tampons At All Rec Centers

Volunteers at the Buren Shelter assemble bags of free tampons for shelter residents.
Esther Honig
/
WOSU
Volunteers at the Buren Shelter assemble bags of free tampons for shelter residents.

Columbus City Council voted Monday to provide free menstrual products at all the city's recreation centers.

After piloting the program in select recreation centers and homeless shelters over the last few years, City Council member Elizabeth Brown says it’s time to expand to every center in the city.

“Any place that toilet paper is free and accessible, tampons and pads should be equally provided,” Brown says.

The legislation dedicates $14,000 for the Department of Recreation and Parks to stock supplies in all 29 centers.

“We think that tampons and pads should be provided just like toilet paper," she says. “Because menstruation is a naturally occurring bodily function that, just like going to the bathroom, no individual has control over.”

Brown says she has an inkling why legislation like this hasn’t happened yet.

“I have every confidence that if women had written the rules throughout American history, we would have tampons and pads in every restroom,” she says, laughing.