In case you need to get caught up to speed, the state of Florida is thisclose to mandating that all high school athletes report their entire menstrual cycle history to their coaches and schools. At the very least, it’s a shocking invasion of privacy and medical information, in addition to being transphobic and misogynistic.
The Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors will consider the proposal at a meeting later this month that would make it mandatory for teenage girls to answer four questions about their menstrual cycles for their schools’ athletic departments in order to compete in sports.
Florida mother of three daughters, Jenn Meale Poggie, launched the “Privacy. Period!” campaign in direct opposition of the proposal in hopes it won’t be approved.
Related: Major Florida school district implements new rules that severely limit kids’ access to books
“Florida’s teenage girls have a right to privacy! They should NOT have to provide mandatory information about their menstrual cycles to athletic departments,” the change.org petition states. “The Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors should REJECT the recommendation that female athletes are required to answer 4 mandatory questions about their menstrual cycles.”
The campaign also states that information related to the menstrual cycles of minors “is between them, their families, and their physicians—NOT their coaches.”
The draft of the proposal, which was published last month by the Florida High School Athletic Association, proposes making currently optional questions regarding a student’s menstrual cycle mandatory, per the Palm Beach Post.
The form, if approved, would ask students if they’ve had a menstrual cycle, and if so, at what age they had their first menstrual period, their most recent menstrual period and how many periods each student has had during the last 12 months.
“This is clearly an effort to further stigmatize and demonize transgender people in sports [and] meant to further exclude people who aren’t assigned female at birth in girls sports,” said Maxx Fenning, president of PRISM, a South Florida nonprofit organization that provides sexual health information to LGBTQ+ youth, to the Miami Herald. “Beyond that, I think there’s concern among LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ [students] alike. This is an extremely invasive mode of gleaning into someone’s reproductive history, which is especially dangerous in this post-Roe world we live in.”
Related: Gender-affirming care for trans youth is life-saving care
In November, Florida legislature voted to ban gender-affirming care for Floridians under 18, defying the guidance of most major medical associations in the country and pleas from parents of trans youth and trans people themselves to allow the care to continue. The ban on gender-affirming care was proposed and led by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Teenaged girls’ menstrual cycles are private, and any conversations or disclosure about them should be among the girl, the parents and their physicians,” Poggie tells the Miami Herald. “Requiring disclosure about periods to athletic departments is a complete overstep and violation of privacy. Athletic departments need to stay out of health care and respect female athletes’ privacy.”
The Florida High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors—comprised of 88% men—will vote on the proposal on Feb. 26.
You can sign the “Privacy. Period!” petition here.