Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.

Bill would provide menstrual products to those in prison


A bill to appropriate $250,000 to provide menstrual products to incarcerated individuals in state prisons passed by a 4-2 vote along party lines in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

HB 120, sponsored by state Rep. Janelle Anyanonu, D-Albuquerque, would provide the appropriation in nonrecurring funds for Fiscal Year 2025. State Rep. Stefani Lord, R-Sandia Park, tried to amend the bill with new language stating that the menstrual products would go to individuals who “biologically have a uterus.”

She said she wanted to ensure that the funds went to the appropriate places within the prison system and would not be divided in half, with 50 percent of the products going to the men’s prisons. She said she was concerned that would lead to the New Mexico Corrections Department coming to the next legislature saying that it required more money.

Anyanonu said this was not within the scope of an appropriations bill and that there are transgender individuals who might need the products. She also said the Corrections Department only provides pads, not tampons. The appropriation would ensure that both tampons and pads would be available to incarcerated individuals who need them. 

State Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, said the bill is trying to be inclusive. The amendment was tabled by a 4-2 vote which also fell along party lines.

State Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, said women who are incarcerated have to use the money they have for snacks to buy feminine products. 

Anyanonu said the situation has improved under new leadership but that menstruating individuals are still required to spend their own commissary money to buy products and “the cost can be considerable.”

Thomson asked if the funds would ensure incarcerated individuals would be able to access menstrual products regardless of who is in leadership at the Corrections Department, to which Anyanonu said that was exactly correct.

State Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, said he would like to see a study commissioned so that the legislature could ensure the appropriate amount was going to the Corrections Department. Anyanonu said the appropriation is nonrecurring and any unused funds will revert to the state’s general fund so that the state could identify a benchmark figure for future needs.

The bill heads next to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

NM Political Report is a non-profit news outlet that can be found at nmpoliticalreport.com.

menstrual products, Legislative bill, prisons