Have a uterus: Taxed for just being a woman

Taxed for having a different organ.

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Taxed for having a different organ.

Amy Lam, Santa Fe Staff Writer

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As a young woman, paying for menstrual products can be costly because of the luxury tax, an additional cost to products that are considered unnecessary, created by the United States Congress in 1991. With 49% of the world’s population as women, two thirds of the women cannot afford feminine products.

Congress should lower the tax and also provide assistance for the women in need of these products rather than making them pay for them in public restrooms, which cost 25 cents and are of low quality.

Luxury items include sanitary napkins and tampons which are considered unessential to women. However, having a period once a month, for around a week, was not a choice that women willingly make. Periods are considered a “luxury” by people who don’t bleed and so they add a tax on items that are absolutely necessary to help endure the week.

All in all, women have to pay for roughly 450 periods in a lifetime, about $1,733.33 worth of tampons. However, many women don’t use tampons and use sanitary napkins which rack up to $433.33.

Other than period products, women also pay for medication, relief products and replacement items. For medication, women pay nearly $13,000 for acne medication, birth control and midol. As for relief and replacement items, women pay for heating pads and new undergarments which total $2,320. All of these costs rack up to $17,486.66 for menstrual products.  

Although some women can afford a box of tampons without a second thought, many women have to consider how much money they put into an item that helps endure the agonizing week. Women who are in rougher situations have to contemplate hard about their spendings and decide if it is worth the money.

While women now understand the taxing, young girls have to face the fact when they grow up that they have to pay more to maintain something they can’t control. Girls already have to live with the fact that they are not put up to the standard like others but now they have to know that they are taxed extra for having a uterus.

Contact Amy Lam at [email protected]

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