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The West Virginia state legislature gavels into session today, and we’re starting to get a better idea of what bills we will be supporting and fighting against. Here’s what we know we can expect this session:

Menstrual Equity — Our champions for reproductive health will introduce a number of bills to increase access to quality and affordable period products across West Virginia, including:

  • A bill requiring that period products be available to students in public schools that teach 6th grade and above in order to ensure students have what they need to be successful in school;

  • A bill requiring prisons to provide quality period products to all incarcerated people. 

  • A bill removing the tax on period products to alleviate the additional monthly expense of paying a tax on a necessary medical product;

  • A bill requiring that ingredients in period products like pads and tampons be disclosed on packaging to ensure consumers are making informed decisions on the products they are using and putting into their bodies

Paid Family and Medical Leave — The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for paid family and medical leave for all West Virginians, and we are hopeful the legislature will pass a bill that would require all employees to receive paid family and medical leave. Currently, employers are only required to provide unpaid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks under the Family Medical Leave Act. We are working with our coalition partners as well as reproductive rights champions to ensure that West Virginia workers receive the leave they need to take care of themselves and their families

Bills that aim to restrict abortion -- While we don’t yet know what kinds of anti-reproductive health bills we will face, we can be sure that lawmakers will try to introduce and pass egregious bills aimed at further reducing abortion access. We will share more as bills are introduced, so stay tuned!

The legislative session is currently set to end on April 10, 2021, which means we only have about two months to make sure pro-reproductive rights legislation is passed and anti-abortion attacks are blocked. We will be ready to fight for the things that are important to the communities we serve and against the attacks we may face, and we hope you’re ready to join us in this fight. Click the link below to sign up to be a member and get up-to-the-minute information on what’s going on and how you can take action.

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And, of course, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram so that you can stay up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the legislature!

Tags: West Virginia

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