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Dignity Act bill introduced by Va. delegate would make some women's products tax exempt

It’s called the Dignity Act and Delegate Jennifer Boysko says it could make a big difference for those in need.

“That’s why I’m here. That’s why I wanted to be in office, so that I can be a voice for those who are struggling,” said Boysko, who represents the 86th District.

She introduced the bill, which she says would make toilet paper, adult diapers, and some feminine hygiene products tax exempt.

“I’ve heard from lots of my constituents as well as groups from around the area that feel like women are disproportionately penalized for bodily functions that they have no control over,” Boysko said.

Holly Seibold kicked off Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters (BRAWS), a group providing new bras, underwear, and feminine hygiene products to those in need, in 2015.

“This is something that the shelters struggle with constantly. They are constantly trying to find funding, trying to get these donations, but, as you know, it’s a taboo subject. It’s a topic that nobody wants to talk about,” Seibold explained.

She says dropping the tax on the items would help.

“It may seem like pennies for some people, but it’s a huge amount of money that’s coming out of these women’s pockets,” said Seibold.

If passed, Boysko says Virginia wouldn’t be alone. She listed a number of states that have already made similar efforts.

“When I first saw The Dignity Act on paper, I cried,” Seibold said. “I was so happy to see it.”

Boysko says she is in talks with colleagues about co-sponsoring the bill.

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