As a bill to provide free and unlimited feminine hygiene products to female inmates was gaining traction in Arizona, Republican state Rep. Thomas Shope (R), chair of the House Rules Committee, opted to hold up the measure.
To express their discontent with his misguided move, women in Arizona quickly launched the #LetItFlow campaign, in which they have begun posting photos of themselves sending pads and tampons to the Republican lawmaker.
The bill was intended to allocate $80,000 to provide feminine hygiene products at no cost to inmates. Currently, female inmates are given only 12 pads per month and are responsible for the cost of additional products if they run out.
“This issue speaks to the basic dignity of being a woman,” said Rep. Athena Salman (D), who introduced the bill. “By denying women additional pads and no free tampons, that is violating a woman’s dignity and that’s fundamentally wrong.”
Republicans, for their part, have tepidly attempted to regain some moral footing in the matter.
“If/when those come in, we’re exploring whether they can be donated to the Arizona Department of Corrections,” said Matthew Specht, spokesman for the House of Representatives Republican Caucus. “If not, Representative Shope would like to donate them to a women’s shelter in his district.”
It’s the least he could do. Literally.
.@TJShopeforAZ, please give #HB2222 a hearing ASAP. It's inhumane to deny women access to tampons and pads! In the meantime, I'm mailing you a few thing to pass along to the AZ Dept of Corrections #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/t2ptXnRTLe
— Emily Kirkland (@ERKirkland) February 12, 2018
Every mo for ~6 days I use 4-5 tampons. Between 24-30 /mo. AZ female inmates get 12 /mo and are penalized for blood on their clothes. #SB2222 will fix that problem allowing women unlimited supplies. Contact @TJShopeforAZ and ask to let the bill be put to a full vote. #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/8IY0eYNJMw
— Valcakes (@Gabbiani26) February 11, 2018
@TJShopeforAZ is holding #hb2222, bill allows inmates more than 12 poor-quality pads/period.
Send your pad/tampon donations here:
AZ DOC c/o TJ Shope
Room 204 AZ House of Representatives
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Tag a pic #LetItFlow pic.twitter.com/4DFqVckYfm
— Rebecca McHood (@RebeccaforAZ) February 10, 2018
— Mary Santy (@AZactivist) February 11, 2018