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27 year old NYC resident, she/her

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

"Last fall I scheduled a Covid vaccine at Walgreens (700 Columbus Ave). On the way to the appointment I started menstruating. When I showed up, I was notified that the appointments were running behind schedule, so I bought tampons and asked to use the bathroom: I was denied.

I repeatedly explained it was an emergency, and there was no way I could wait 30 minutes to an hour for a vaccine while bleeding through my clothes. I had to cancel my appointment and find a bathroom I could access. I found the nearest CVS and was once again rejected despite mentioning I was menstruating and showing the employees a box of tampons. It was a humiliating experience!

A local who witnessed the incident guided me to a Mexican restaurant that did not have public bathrooms, but when I asked to use the bathroom the employees could tell I was in distress and allowed me access. The worst part is that in the situation I could not go home on the subway or call an Uber, because I was afraid of bleeding on the seat and acquiring a fine or bleeding all down my legs and experiencing further humiliation.

I was shocked that both Walgreens and CVS would not allow me access especially when my whole reason for being at that particular Walgreens was a Covid vaccine in the middle of a public health crisis!"

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Its so messed up and real oppression that women bleed and there are no public bathrooms. They want us to stay home. They want us humiliated. I experience so much trouble being a menstruating person in Chicago. And what are the unhoused meant to do? This is what we mean by criminalizing poverty.

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