If you are a woman who has a vagina and a uterus, you know that once a month the gift of menstruation turns your pants into a crime scene unless you are able to buy tampons. In 40 states, you’ll have to pay a tampon tax. Certain products in New York are exempt from sales tax because they are considered to be medical necessities. These highly important products include Viagra, Rogaine, Chapstick, and dandruff shampoo.
Think this is ridiculous? So do Margo Seibert, Jennifer Moore, Catherine O’Neil, and Natalie Brasington, who are suing the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and taking the tampon tax issue to the Supreme Court. The women will be represented by Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP— well known civil rights lawyers. The complaint states, “The tampon tax is irrational. It is discrimination. It is wrong.” It’s also in violation of New York State Tax Law, the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, and the New York Constitution’s Equal Protection clause.
This isn’t the first time legislation has been proposed to stop taxing periods. Last Year, Democratic New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal proposed a bill that would eliminate the sexist tax and a companion Senate bill was drafted by Republican State Senator Sue Serino. A successful lawsuit could kickstart the political necessity of this bill and ensure that New York will never tax tampons again.
Without access to affordable period products women are subject to not only the dreaded red stain on her pants, but infection and countless ruined panties. There is no logical reason why a tampon or pad should be taxed when rogaine and viagra are completely tax free. To say this tax isn’t sexist is completely false. Stop taxing tampons, we didn’t ask for our periods and we shouldn’t be taxed to stay healthy and hygienic.
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