SOUTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Lawmakers in South Carolina are pushing to eliminate the long-standing tampon sales tax.

Most products that line shelves across the state are stamped with a sales tax.

Items that do not have the tax are deemed as necessities, including groceries, medical supplies, and prescription medications like Viagra.

“I know that basic necessities like food aren’t taxed because everyone needs it,” Mary Dawkins said. “It’s a basic right, so I think feminine products fall under that category as well.”

S.C. is one of 22 states with sales tax on menstrual products. Advocated for removing the tax, saying the state makes about $4.5 million annually.

“It’s really a discriminatory tax,” said Period Law legal director Suzanne Herman. “I mean, you are talking about something that only people who menstruate are paying as opposed to the other half of the population who will never need to buy these products, but menstruators cannot go to work or school with dignity without them.”

A bill introduced to the S.C. House in January passed unanimously this week.

It exempts tampons, pads, menstrual cups – anything used for a menstrual cycle from sales tax.

“It is time for South Carolina to join the other states,” said executive director of Project Period, Karen Dudley-Culbreath.

The Period Project is an advocacy group headquartered in S.C., fighting for all states to eliminate sales tax on menstrual products.

“It further burdens those already living in poverty, giving another level of poverty, being period poverty,” Dudley-Culbreath said.

Once out of the House, the bill will go to the Senate for a vote; it will head to the governor’s desk for a signature if it passes in the Senate.