New Jersey Ensures Access to Free Menstrual Products for Students in Grades Six through Twelve


Governor Phil Murphy signs landmark bill to address 'period poverty,' offering free menstrual products in public schools and emphasizing menstrual equity, health, and educational access.

NEW JERSEY STATE – In an essential step towards menstrual equity, Governor Phil Murphy has signed a new law (S-1221/A-1349) that mandates public schools in New Jersey to provide menstrual products free of charge to students in grades six through twelve. The legislation, signed on August 23, 2023, not only addresses 'period poverty' but emphasizes the Murphy Administration's commitment to advancing women’s health in the state.

The bill has been sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, Senator Vin Gopal, and Assemblywomen Carol Murphy and Angela McKnight.

This legislation will require applicable schools to supply menstrual products in at least half of all their female and gender-neutral bathrooms. The cost of these products will be covered by the State. The New Jersey Departments of Education and Health will assess whether the provision of these products meets the needs of menstruating students, and can issue recommendations for expanding access to grades below grade six.

The new law applies to every public school teaching students in one or more of grades six through twelve in New Jersey.

A 2021 study revealed that nearly one in four teenagers across the United States, particularly those from low-income families and students of color, struggle to afford menstrual products. The new law aims to help students concentrate on their education and prevent reproductive health challenges, thereby fostering a more inclusive educational experience.

The legislation builds upon previous efforts, including offering free menstrual hygiene products to female inmates in the state correctional system in 2019. The current initiative promotes menstrual health, reduces inequities, and supports positive self-esteem by increasing access to necessary products.

Governor Murphy stated, “My Administration will continue to prioritize the mental and physical health of New Jersey students by taking a holistic approach to supporting their well-being. Promoting menstrual equity in our schools is one crucial component of our ongoing efforts to ensure the success of young people throughout our state and promote equity at every level.”

The new law has been met with widespread approval from various lawmakers, advocates, and organizations. It is part of a broader effort to normalize menstruation and support students' well-being, further cementing New Jersey's role as a leader in menstrual equity. It also marks New Jersey as the twenty-third state in the country to provide menstrual products in schools.

For more information about menstrual health-related matters, New Jersey residents can visit

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