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Free feminine hygiene products for Maine schools approved in legislative committee

A menstrual product dispenser inside a women's restroom in Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette, Ind.
A menstrual product dispenser inside a women's restroom in Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette, Ind.Nikos Frazier/Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to provide free feminine hygiene products in Maine schools has received a key approval in committee.

The Maine Legislature’s Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the proposal on Wednesday. Democratic Senator Cathy Breen of Falmouth said the proposal would help students cope with “period poverty.”

Breen said lack of access to feminine hygiene products is a problem for Maine students that often goes ignored.

The proposal protects donors of menstrual products from liability so they can give the products to schools and nonprofit groups without facing risk. That will get the products into schools without costing the state or schools money, Breen said.

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One in five teenagers has had difficulty affording period products, Breen said. The proposal will now go before the full Maine Legislature for votes.