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GOP Lawmaker Says Giving Out Tampons in Prison Would Make It Like ‘A Country Club’

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Last week, the Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety in the Maine legislature voted to advance LD 628, a bill that would guarantee female prisoners a right to menstrual products.

But according to the Maine Beacon, GOP state Rep. Richard Pickett complained that this bill would make prisons too much like “country clubs”:

During debate, Pickett, who currently serves as Dixfield Police Chief and who voted against the bill, argued that detainees already had access to menstrual products such as pads and tampons.

“Quite frankly, and I don’t mean this in any disrespect, the jail system and the correctional system was never meant to be a country club,” he said, according to Bangor Daily News reporter Alex Acquisto. “They have a right to have these and they have them. If that wasn’t the case, then I would be supporting the motion, but they do.”

This argument is just ridiculous. Pads and tampons are not a luxury item they are a basic health care necessity. Women who cannot afford menstrual products are at risk for infection.

Moreover, while the state’s current correctional system does allow prisoners a small supply of menstrual products, Maine Women’s Lobby policy director Whitney Parrish testified that women frequently run out: “You may have no money to go to commissary, and if you do, you may have to weigh that purchase against other necessities, like making phone calls to your children or attorney. You are forced to make the impossible decision of constructing your own menstrual products, using anything from clothing or notebook paper in place of a tampon.”

Lack of access to menstrual products is a widespread problem, that has long gone unacknowledged because several organizations advocating for the poor are run by men. But the public is slowly starting to turn more attention to the issue many states are now moving to exempt these products from sales tax, which is already the case for many unisex medical and hygiene products.

Lawmakers who have never needed to use pads or tampons should defer to the experiences and advocacy of people who do, and not offer their own opinion on the matter.

Image by Ethan H. via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Says He Will Make SCOTUS Nomination Next Week – Appears He Will Use Seat to Strengthen Where He Is Weak in Polls

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President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “next week.”

He made clear his primary deciding factors will be to help him in the polls.

Trump told reporters Saturday afternoon “most likely” he will choose a woman.

CNN reports he is leaning towards choosing a woman mostly because he is doing poorly in the polls with women.

Trump spoke about two women judges. He talked about Barbara Lagoa, noting she is Hispanic and from Florida. He is struggling in the polls with Hispanics and in Florida.

Reporters also asked about Amy Coney Barrett, a far right wing anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ extremist. Trump spoke positively about her as well. Reports say she is the current frontrunner.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Trump: Republicans Must Fill Supreme Court Seat ‘Without Delay’

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President Donald Trump Saturday morning, barely 12 hours after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away, announced his intention to fill her seat “without delay.”

The president said the Republican Party has been handed the “position of power and importance” to make decisions for those who elected them.

“We have this obligation,” he insisted, ignoring his obligation to balance decision-making by remembering he is president of the entire country, not just the red states.

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Trump Releases Statement on Passing of ‘Titan’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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President Donald Trump has issued a formal statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

He called her a “titan of the law,” and praised her for her “brilliant mind” and for her “powerful dissents.” Trump also said her Supreme Court decisions “have inspired all Americans.”

Earlier, before boarding Air Force One, Trump claimed he had not known she had passed away, and said, “She just died? I didn’t know that.”

“She led an amazing life, what else can you say? Whether you agree or not … she led an amazing life.”

Here’s the President’s statement:

 

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