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CONCORD – New Hampshire’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapters hosted two discussions on menstrual equity this week ahead of National Period Day on Oct. 19.

Dozens of students and community members attended the two events, hosted by Dartmouth Planned Parenthood Generation Action and The University of New Hampshire Planned Parenthood Generation Action, at each of the chapters’ respective college campuses in Hanover and Durham. 

The events were also an opportunity to celebrate SB142, a recently-passed New Hampshire law that requires menstrual hygiene products to be provided in public middle and high school girls’ and gender-neutral restrooms. New Hampshire state Senator Martha Hennessey introduced SB142 after Rochester teen Caroline Dillon reached out to her, concerned about her peers not being to access menstrual hygiene products at school. This law is an important step toward menstrual equity and will ensure that New Hampshire students can continue to focus on their education. 

Panelists at the Dartmouth event included state Senator Martha Hennessey, D-5, Professor Deborah Brooks, Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, and Whitney Parsons, Population Health Program Manager at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Panelists at the UNH event included Jennifer Frizzell, Director of Policy for the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, and Caroline Dillon. 

Statement from Caroline Dillon, the Rochester teen advocate who championed SB142:

“I am so grateful to see so many advocates come together ahead of National Period Day to discuss and advocate for menstrual equity. While the passage of SB142 this year is a major victory for New Hampshire students, we still have much work to do. Period products should be accessible to all who need them, and more must be done to reduce the stigma of menstruation. Thank you to the Dartmouth College and UNH Planned Parenthood Generation Action chapters for hosting these events -- let’s keep the conversation going.” 

About National Period Day:
On Oct. 19, the organization PERIOD. will host the first National Period Day. People across the country will elevate the issue of menstrual inequity and advocate for making period products more accessible for all. PERIOD was founded in 2014 by two 16-year-old high school students and has since helped address over 700,000 periods through product distribution. 

1 in 5 teens have struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all, and 84% of teens have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to period products, according to research from Thinx and PERIOD. A recent survey of lower-income women found that nearly two-thirds couldn’t afford menstrual hygiene products during the previous year. 

Globally, about a quarter of the world’s population is women of reproductive age, yet 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation services, according to UNICEF. Moreover, around the world, people are ostracized from basic activities, including eating certain foods and socializing, while they are menstruating. 

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy, educational, and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. Follow us on Twitter. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).