CVS Health is lowering menstrual product prices in 12 states, including Texas. Where efforts to repeal a so-called “tampon tax” have so far failed. Other items are also being reviewed to ensure that women’s products. Such as razors and shaving cream, are not priced higher than those marketed to men.
The pharmacy chain announced Tuesday. That would reduce the price of CVS Health brand tampons, menstrual pads, liners, and cups by 25%. At core locations by Thursday, October 13.
CVS announced earlier this month that it would begin paying sales tax on period products in a dozen states. Including Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
“There are laws in 13 states that prohibit any organization from covering the tax on any product.” A CVS spokesperson said in an email. “CVS is working through operational issues in Arizona and hopes to be able to cover the tax in the future.”
According to CVS, which operates 9,900 retail locations in all 50 states. In the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the company collaborates with other organizations to eliminate menstrual taxes.
“We believe that no basic material necessity, including period supplies and diapers, should be subject to state sales taxes,” said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of the organization. In an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “We are actively advocating for legislation to repeal the tampon tax in the 22 states that still levy [it].”
“Poverty during a period.”
Menstrual hygiene products are viewed as a luxury item rather than a necessity in roughly half of the country. They are not exempt from sales taxes, leaving low-income people struggling to afford them. The National Diaper Bank Network and the Alliance for Period Supplies applauded the actions.
“We believe that no basic material necessity, including period supplies and diapers, should be subject to state sales taxes,” said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO of the organizations, in an emailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch. “We are actively advocating for legislation to repeal the tampon tax in the 22 states that still levy [it].”
Half of the population requires the concept of levying a sales tax on products. A significant portion of their lives has been criticized for decades, with 21 states currently doing so, according to USA Facts. According to the nonprofit data resource, since 2016, 24 states have exempted menstrual products from state sales tax, while five states have no sales tax.
— Joan Huffman (@joanhuffman) August 18, 2022
According to Jhumka Gupta, an associate professor at George Mason University. “period poverty is common. Hidden and stigmatic public health issue in the United States and globally.” “It can reduce women’s participation in school and the workplace,” Gupta said in a 2021 study that discovered one in every ten college women lacks access to menstrual products.
Arkansas, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon had no sales tax as of 2021. At the same time, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington exempted period products from sales tax.
Other states have since followed suit. In August, Colorado stopped charging a sales tax on diapers, incontinence, and menstrual products.
Menstrual products are classified as “wound care dressings” in Texas under taxed. Whereas male libido enhancers and gender-neutral products such as Band-Aids are not.
Nonetheless, state senator Joan Huffman has promised to introduce legislation exempting feminine hygiene products from the sales tax in the coming year. In August, the Houston Republican tweeted, “Looking forward to working with my colleagues to get this done, next session.”
The problem is not limit to America. Scotland recently became the first country to make menstrual products available to anyone who requires them.
“Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises, and harmful traditions can all turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma, undermining their enjoyment of basic human rights,” the UN Population Fund stated in May.