The push for #LetsTalkPeriod will continue into 2019.
Although over 7,600 petitioners rallied their support behind The Endometriosis Foundation of America's #LetsTalkPeriod campaign via a Change.org petition, Bill A. 10763 didn't pass the New York State Assembly as the last day of the New York Legislative Session drew to a close on June 20.
The bill, which passed in the Senate unanimously last week, was referred to the Assembly where it was favorably voted on by the Health, and the Ways and Means committees. From there, it went to the Rules Committee on June 11, where it languished: sadly, the bill never made it from there to the Assembly floor for a vote.
With the legislative session now adjourned for the remainder of 2018, the push continues for the bill's passage in the Assembly when legislators reconvene in January 2019. If passed, the bill would then go to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
If signed into law, the bill—introduced on the Assembly side by Linda B. Rosenthal—will require the Commissioner of Education to provide materials on endometriosis and other menstrual health-related disorders to school districts and healthcare practitioners statewide. The bill would potentially help millions of New York pupils understand endometriosis, and make U.S. history as the first endometriosis-related education bill of its kind. Currently, there are more than 2.6 million K-12 students currently enrolled in public schools across 733 districts, according to the New York State Education Department's official website.
Despite the stall, the future is bright: the bipartisan bill zipped through the New York State Senate with a unanimous vote on June 14, just one month after Senator Sue Serino introduced it there.
And after EndoFound journeyed to Albany to lobby lawmakers for the bills, the #LetsTalkPeriod campaign will continue in New York. Lawmakers Serino and Rosenthal, the duo who successfully repealed the Tampon Tax in New York in 2016, say they aren’t done championing women’s reproductive rights and health.
“Too many young women are experiencing the devastating side effects of endometriosis and other menstrual disorders month after month, and are suffering in silence because they simply have not been made aware of how to effectively address them," says Serino. "We hear from women all of the time who have missed work, can’t participate in sports, or those whose school work has suffered as a direct result of a menstrual disorder that was not properly addressed. It is time to put an end to that.”
Adds Rosenthal: “We must empower young women with information about their basic biology so they can control their bodies and protect their health. Even after toppling the decades-old tampon tax that taxed girls and women on their own biology, we must continue forcing the conversation on menstrual equity.”
Celebrities including NCIS actress Kym Jackson, ESPN host Molly Qerim, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and EndoFound board members Lena Dunham, Padma Lakshmi, all voiced their support for the bill's passage.