The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

North Adams Weather


  • 8 PM
    46 °
  • 9 PM
    40 °
  • 10 PM
    35 °
  • 11 PM
    32 °
  • 12 AM
    28 °
  • 1 AM
    25 °
  • 2 AM
    22 °
  • 3 AM
    20 °
  • 4 AM
    19 °
  • 5 AM
    18 °
  • 6 AM
    17 °
  • 7 AM
    16 °
  • 8 AM
    17 °
  • 9 AM
    19 °
  • 10 AM
    21 °
  • 11 AM
    22 °
  • 12 PM
    23 °
  • 1 PM
    25 °
  • 2 PM
    25 °
  • 3 PM
    25 °
  • 4 PM
    25 °
  • 5 PM
    23 °
  • 6 PM
    22 °
  • 7 PM
    19 °
  • 8 PM
    19 °
February 28
54°/ 31°
Heavy rain
February 29
27°/ 17°
Patchy moderate snow
March 1
41°/ 18°
Light freezing rain
Advertisement
Advertisement

An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products: A New Bill From the Massachusetts Senate

Photo+courtesy+of+Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Flickr.

On October 26th, 2023, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed, 38-0, a bill titled, An Act to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products. This bill, if made into a law, would require safe and disposable menstrual products to be provided in the Commonwealth’s primary and secondary schools, correctional institutions, as well as shelters and temporary housing facilities at no cost to those seeking out the products. It would also require the products to be distributed in a way that is both convenient and non-stigmatizing. It was passed by the Senate and was sent to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. On October 30th the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The House Committee on Ways and Means’ role is to consider all legislation that would have an effect on the finances of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

When Representative John Barret was asked what his stance was on the bill, he responded by saying, “A quick answer is that I would support the bill which passed the Senate unanimously last month.” He is the Representative of the 1st Berkshire District which includes towns and cities such as Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, North Adams, and Williamstown. Historically, Representative Barrett has had a fairly good record when it comes to reproductive rights. According to Progressive MASS, a statewide, member-driven grassroots organization committed to fighting for a vision of shared prosperity, racial and social justice, good government, and environmental sustainability in Massachusetts, Barrett has voted in favor of bills such as, The Act Providing for Access to Reproductive Health Services. This bill made it so that a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife may perform an abortion consistent with the scope of their practice and license if, in their best medical judgment, the pregnancy has existed for less than 24 weeks. After 24 weeks an abortion may still be performed by a physician only if it is necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the life of the patient, the patient’s physical or mental health, because of a lethal fetal anomaly, or the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus. Under the Act Providing for Access to Reproductive Health Services, abortions cannot be performed without written consent unless it is an immediate medical emergency. Representative John Barrett, according to Progressive MASS, voted for this bill once to pass it and a second time to override the governor’s veto.

The Massachusetts Legislative website has not made any updates on this bill since October 30th, and as of now there are no upcoming hearings planned for this committee. A menstrual products bill, just like the one that was passed by the Senate last month, was introduced and passed in the Senate last year, but it failed in the House after it was read and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means on March 7th, 2022. The committee, the Vice Chair of the committee, and some of the sponsors of the failed bill were contacted to ask why the bill had failed previously and whether the result was likely to be different this time around. But unfortunately, all the people that were contacted stated that they did not know why the bill had failed and that we’ll see what happens this time around.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Em Marlay-Wright, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All The Online Beacon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *