Who is pulling the strings In the tampon war?
While the last several Oregon legislative sessions have seen an avalanche of agenda-driven bills, not many have gotten the attention of HB 3294
. This bill, passed in 2021, required free tampons and sanitary pads in every student bathroom in every school. Including the bathrooms of kindergarten boys.
The products would be available, with no limit, to anyone using any student bathroom. Every single Republican House Rep voted in favor of this bill. Even Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) who was not present for the vote on the floor, approved the bill in committee.
When gubernatorial candidate Bridget Barton produced a campaign ad criticizing then House Rep (and candidate for Governor) Christine Drazan, for voting in favor of the bill, Drazan responded with an email blast on May 13th 2022 saying;
“Let me give you the facts, because there’s no confusion there. I voted alongside every other Republican in the State House to provide underprivileged girls with feminine products. A warped and radical progressive agenda–spearheaded by Kate Brown and Tina Kotek–then turned around and put feminine products into boys’ bathrooms.”
And, in an email to a constituent who complained to House Rep David Brock Smith about his vote supporting this bill, Smith responded:
"The bill requires feminine hygiene products in two restrooms in public schools. It passed the House unanimously and for good reason.
One, it does not mandate them to boys restrooms, that would be silly. (Don’t believe everything you read on the internet). School districts (local control) decide which bathrooms they are placed, to which I could imagine would be the girls locker room bathroom and another girls bathroom within the school. If there is only one bathroom in the school, then they are there but I don’t know of any schools with one bathroom."
Two, there are a number of families that struggle to provide meals for their children, let alone feminine hygiene products. As a grandfather I would hope you would understand (even if you don’t have granddaughters) that a child’s lack of access to feminine hygiene products for whatever reason, should not be a barrier to education, sports or just a basic quality of life in our public school system.
Both statements have factual issues.
The fact is, the original version of the bill only made these products available in girl’s bath rooms.
“Each public education provider shall ensure that both tampons and sanitary pads are available at no cost to students through dispensers located in at least two female student bathrooms of every public school building.”
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
However, the bill was amended to include all
bathrooms and David Brock Smith voted to approve those amendments. In fact, during the hearing on the bill, in the House Education Committee on which Brock Smith was a member, the very first person to testify was House Rep Ricki Ruiz, a Democrat sponsor of the bill who called for the removal of gender language and stated that “not all people who menstruate are women.” Brock Smith was sitting in the committee at the time.
Subsequent testimony constantly referred not to “women” or “girls” or “females” but to “people who menstrurate.” One of the few references to “women” was from a representative of the National Organization of Women who stated in her testimony, “Menstrual inequity is simply another means to control women and limit their access to all possibilities and opportunities”
After being confronted with the language of the amended bill that Brock Smith twice voted for, Brock Smith responded:
It turns out I was mistaken. For that matter, my entire caucus was mistaken. The language was amended to require all restrooms and not two. This was not caught by the house republican members or our Republican staff. My apologies to you and others.
There will be a bill from our caucus to fix this in the ‘23 session. I and others would not have voted for the legislation if we would have known, even though it would have passed anyway because the democrats don’t need our votes to pass legislation. Hopefully we will be changing that this November.
Again, my apologies.
Brock Smith and other Republicans sat in the committee where the bill was heard. Every single Republican member of that committee then voted to amend the bill to put tampons in the bathrooms of little boys. No one asked a question or voiced an objection. Then every single Republican, except the “excused” Greg Smith, voted for it again on the House floor. But not before it made another stop in the Joint Ways and Means Committee.
In that committee, the bill, now containing the language Smith and Christine Drazan claim to object to, was heard again. And then passed to the full House for a vote. Christine Drazan sat on that
committee and approved the bill with the mandates for free tampons in kindergarten boy’s bathrooms.
The bill then went to the Senate where even Democrat Betsy Johnson voted no. To the surprise of very few, Republican Senator Tim Knopp, who is now the Senate Republican Leader, voted yes.
|Post Date: 2022-05-16 08:22:18||Last Update: 2022-05-16 12:17:24|