Huge news. Today, LOLA is proud to announce our partnership with Period Equity — the nation’s first law and policy organization fighting for menstrual equity — in a groundbreaking campaign to eliminate the tampon tax in the U.S.
Keep reading for all of the details of our campaign. To find out how you can get involved today, visit us at taxfreeperiod.com.
What’s the tampon tax?
In case you missed the recent op-ed by LOLA co-founders Alex Friedman and Jordana Kier, here’s what you need to know about the tampon tax:
1. There are currently 35 states in the U.S. that charge a sales tax on period products. In those states, period products are not classified as necessities and, as such, fail to be exempt from sales tax.
2. According to Period Equity, it’s estimated that the tampon tax collectively costs Americans who menstruate more than $150 million a year.
3. Half of the population gets periods. So, in those 35 states, half of the population is required to pay a sales tax on products they use monthly.
We think that’s discrimination. And Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Laura Strausfeld, attorneys and co-founders of Period Equity, couldn’t agree more.
Who is Period Equity?
Anyone who has kept tabs on the fight to take down the tampon tax, and establish menstrual equity in the U.S., knows the incredible work of Period Equity.
Weiss-Wolf has been a leading voice for equitable menstrual policy in America. (She literally wrote the book on it.) Impressed by her advocacy work, Strausfeld reached out in 2016 to propose they mobilize legal action against New York State.
Together, with five plaintiffs and the law firm Emery Celli Brinkerhoff, they filed a class action lawsuit that resulted in immediate action by the state to remove its tampon tax.
To continue their work together, Weiss-Wolf and Strausfeld formed Period Equity, an organization committed to ensuring that menstrual products are affordable, safe, and available to those in need.
How is LOLA partnering with Period Equity?
We’ve long admired the work of Period Equity — in fact, we were proud to stand alongside them when our home state of New York eliminated the tampon tax in 2016. We also celebrated the launch of Weiss-Wolf’s book, Periods Gone Public, with our LOLA community in the fall of 2017.
This campaign is the next iteration of our continued partnership to help spark widespread action and change around this issue. Together, we’re prepared to mobilize legal action, working with Period Equity’s legal partners to ensure that the tampon tax is entirely eliminated in the U.S. by Tax Day 2020.
Why is this such a big deal?
At LOLA, we’ve always been committed to increasing access to menstrual products. Since 2015, we’ve worked with nonprofit partners to donate more than 2 million period products in over 27 states for women in need.
Now, by partnering with Period Equity to launch Tax Free. Period., we’re expanding our focus to tackle period policy in the U.S.
Challenging the tampon tax is about more than lifting a financial burden on people with periods. It’s a way to call out laws that are archaic, unfair, and discriminatory.
We hope that our Tax Free. Period. campaign allows us to move toward a better model of economic parity and gender equity. And we believe in its power to spark national conversations about the wider implications of menstruation — social, economic, and otherwise.
How can I get involved?
We thought you’d never ask! First thing’s first, visit LOLA and Period Equity at taxfreeperiod.com to take the pledge to support our legal fight.
Once you take the pledge, we’ll send you an email with everything you need to pressure your state to eliminate the tampon tax, including a shareable graphic about your state’s tax policy, your governor’s social handle, and sample language to use when you spread the word.
We’ll also add you to our email list and provide you with breaking updates and action items for how to get involved in your state.
Visit us at taxfreeperiod.com to learn more.