Office of Governor Josh Shapiro: First Lady Lori Shapiro and the Governor's Advisory Commissions on Women and Next Generation Engagement Recognize Menstrual Health Awareness Month

SOURCE: Office of Governor Josh Shapiro, PA.gov

Harrisburg, PA – This week, First Lady Lori Shapiro, the Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women, and the Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement recognized Menstrual Health Awareness Month by welcoming advocates, nonprofit leaders, medical professionals, researchers, teachers and students to the Governor’s Residence to learn more about how they are working toward menstrual equity in Pennsylvania.

The Shapiro Administration has taken big steps to close the gaps in women’s health care that too often hurt low-income families and communities of color. In his latest budget, Governor Shapiro is calling for $3 million to provide menstrual hygiene products in schools at no cost to students.

First Lady Lori Shapiro continues to champion this initiative by connecting with advocates from across the Commonwealth to discuss menstrual equity and uplift their work. Earlier this month, she stood with legislators to highlight the major investments that Governor Shapiro has proposed to expand access to menstrual hygiene products. The First Lady has also visited organizations across the Commonwealth to highlight their work to fight period poverty – from The SPOT Period Hub in Philadelphia, to the Mitzvah Circle in Bucks County, and the Western PA Diaper Bank, and Adagio Health in Pittsburgh.

“Josh and I believe all Pennsylvanians deserve the opportunity to succeed and chart their own course without unnecessary barriers. By providing free period products in schools, we are empowering young women and girls and reducing stress and trauma for them,” said First Lady Lori Shapiro. “I’ve spent time listening to so many young people in Pennsylvania who have advocated for this initiative and I’m proud that the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women and Next Generation Engagement and legislation are moving the needle to support girls across our Commonwealth.”

May is Menstrual Health Awareness Month and for the first time in Pennsylvania the Shapiro Administration will proclaim May 28th as Menstrual Hygiene Day to promote menstrual health and hygiene.

“I am so incredibly thankful to the Governor and First Lady Shapiro for prioritizing women and girl’s health in this year’s budget,” said Representative Darisha Parker. “Period poverty was swept under the rug and whispered about for so long, now we are celebrating May 28 as Menstrual Hygiene Day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. We couldn’t have done it without First Lady Shapiro’s advocacy and willingness to listen to the organizations that are doing the important work.”

The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement have also been raising awareness about menstrual equity across the Commonwealth. Recently, they hosted a screening of the documentary Periodical followed by a panel discussion to draw attention to menstrual health needs and elevate proposed investments in the Governor’s budget that would give students access to free menstrual products.

“The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women is excited to participate in these conversations and highlight the Governor’s budget priorities to improve women’s health access and outcomes. We were proud to partner with the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement to host the Periodical screening and panel discussion about the importance of menstrual health and uterine wellness,” said Moriah Hathaway, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Women. “We are honored to work alongside First Lady Lori Shapiro and the tireless advocates who help make Pennsylvania a better place for women and girls.”

“One in four students miss class due to the lack of period products in schools. The Governor’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement is dedicated to working with Governor Shapiro, First Lady Lori Shapiro, and the Commission on Women to tackle this issue and provide students with the products they need,” said Ruby Mundok, Executive Director, Governor’s Advisory Commission on Next Generation Engagement. “We look forward to continuing to highlight the Governor’s Budget priorities and recognizing Menstrual Health Awareness Month.”

Pennsylvania’s young women and girls deserve peace of mind so they can focus on academic learning, attendance, and health. All students should have access to menstrual hygiene products and the Shapiro Administration has heard directly from them about the importance of that access.

XXXXX

Adagio Health Vice President of Family Planning Programs, Linda Snyder, DrPH, and First Lady Lori Shapiro.