MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – The state’s first dispensers with free period products are being installed at a school in Murray.

Hillcrest Jr. High is the first public school with free tampons and pads in every female and unisex bathroom.

State lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring period products to be freely available in every K through 12 public and charter school in Utah.

A study showed 85% of girls in the U.S. have missed school or know someone who has because of lack of access to period supplies.

Alyla Ruiz, an 8th grader at Hillcrest Jr. High, states, “Sometimes students are very embarrassed asking someone for an extra pad or tampon, and so when they added that, I felt like students were more happy that they didn’t have to go through the embarrassment.”

The Policy Project has been taking steps to ease the stress of menstruation for women across the nation since 2018. Their largest campaign, known as Utah Period Project, focuses on issues such as lack of access to period products and the high cost of these materials.

The organization set out on a mission in Nov. 2021 to provide access to free period products in Utah schools.

“Access to menstrual products is so fundamental; we would argue as fundamental, or even more fundamental, than toilet paper,” Emily Bell McCormick, founder of The Policy Project told ABC4. “We would absolutely never say, ‘Hey, if you need to go number two, we just need you to stop at the office really fast, get some toilet paper, so that everybody knows that you need to go number two, and then you can go to the bathroom and go,’” she continued. “But we do that with menstrual products right now. We’ve just become accustomed to something that is wrong and backwards.”

As of March 3, the bill in favor of the Utah Period Project, H.B. 162, was unanimously passed by the Utah State Legislature.

The passing of H.B. 162 will require period products to be freely available in every girls and all-gender bathroom in public and charter schools in the state of Utah.

In collaboration with the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation and The Andrus Family Foundation, period product dispensaries will be installed in Utah’s school bathrooms, and the funding from the bill will go towards filling them with period products.