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Free Condoms Are Not What’s Limiting Access to Free Menstrual Products

Tampons are expensive, and ridiculously so. Why should we have to pay for menstrual products when people simply cannot control their cycles? I doubt any of us uterus-equipped folks want to have periods – isn’t the price our bodies pay enough?


Tampons should be free but that doesn’t mean we should be bashing free condoms. These are two separate issues; we don’t have free condoms available instead of tampons. Condoms are a form of contraception that can actually protect people from HIV/AIDS. Giving out free condoms is possible because of a long fight during the AIDS crisis (that isn’t over) for access to protection.

We often don’t realize that people living in poverty don’t have easy access to menstrual products. Scotland is fighting “period poverty” by giving out free menstrual products to those who do not have easy access to them. This is a huge step. People living in poverty deserve the same comforts as those of us privileged enough to buy menstrual products. Every organization that helps people in need will accept donated menstrual products. This is a basic comfort and sanitary issue that should be taken care of.

People are going to have sex, and that’s okay. People with HIV and AIDS are going to have sex, and that’s okay. Condoms can prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, which is why it is important for them to be provided in schools and clinics. Easy access to condoms does not promote sexual activity – that’s already happening. It only gives sexually active people access to safe sex. This is crucial. Condoms are easy birth control. They do not require a prescription and if you can afford them, they are readily available at any drug store. However, not everyone who is sexually active can afford them. People are going to keep having sex, it’s just not something you can regulate. It’s okay for people to have sex, especially if they have the means for safe sex.

Free condoms prevent disease and save lives.

The fight for free menstrual products is not being hindered by free condoms. The two issues have nothing to do with each other. Menstrual comfort and sexual health should both be rights, not privileges. Safety and sanitation should be provided, for free, to all people in need of them.

Photo: Planned Parenthood

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