Health products like walkers and Viagra are exempt from California state sales tax, and if two assembly members have their way, feminine hygiene products will soon enjoy the same status. Cristina Garcia and Ling Ling Chang introduced a measure Monday maintaining that tampons, sanitary napkins, and similar products are a necessity that shouldn't bear the extra cost of taxes, and that eliminating these fees could even close the wage gap between men and women, Newsweek reports. "Women have no choice but to buy these products," says Garcia, vice chair of the California Legislative Women's Caucus. "You can't just ignore your period." The state would lose about $20 million in tax revenue if the bill passes, Garcia adds to the Sacramento Bee.
Five states— Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania— have already dumped the tax on feminine products, Newsweek reports. Per Fusion, most states don't tax "non-luxury items," or "necessities," but feminine hygiene products usually aren't included in that domain. "This is not insignificant to women, especially poor women on a tight budget who struggle to pay for basic necessities like a box of tampons or pads every month for their adult life," Garcia tells Newsweek, adding to the Bee: "We're being taxed for being women." And it doesn't sound like she wants to stop there: Using the hashtags #TamponsForAll and #NoTaxOnTampons, Garcia tweeted Monday, "This is a step to fix this gender injustice. Hopefully one day these items will be free." (Guess the city with the highest sales tax in the US.)