The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

The government needs to stop taxing women’s bodies

A tax on healthcare items such as tampons in most states causes an inequality in income for women

June 8, 2016

In a recent viral video, Buzzfeed had women calculate the average cost of their period each month. Their prices ranged anywhere from 41 dollars to 60 dollars a month spent on their periods.

Thinking about this in terms of how many extra dollars women have to spend just to take care of their bodies, the cost ranges anywhere from 500 to 600 dollars per year. The cost is outrageous when you it is also considered that women make 79 cents less to every dollar earned by a man, resulting in a 21 percent wage gap.

So there is a price to pay when it comes to having a period. In the United States, lawmakers are allowed to tax women for their sanitary and hygiene products, because they are claimed under the “luxury tax”, meaning that these items are considered non-essential and unnecessary.

This bill made to tax sanitary hygiene products as “Luxury items” is odd considering that in third world countries women are often forced to drop out of school due to the lack of access to such necessary items. This idea that feminine hygiene products should be under a “luxury tax”, makes a woman feel like she is an object that is controlled and oppressed by the government.

Currently as it stands only six states do not have a “luxury tax” and four other U.S. Territories are exempt from this, because they do not have sales tax altogether. Which is still not enough states fighting for women’s equality. This bill can be abolished by both male and female voters who petition to repeal the “Luxury tax” in senate.  And it should be, if there is a real dedication to furthering the cause of equality.

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