The Teen Advocates for Sexual Health (TASH), an advocate group including WGHS students, traveled to Jefferson City on March, 6, to lobby for the banning of harmful conversion therapy and the lowering of tax on period supplies and diapers.
As reported by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, TASH is “a group of teens (grades nine-12) representing diverse backgrounds from the St. Louis area. TASH creates, develops, plans and implements programs that move toward a greater understanding and appreciation of healthy sexuality based on teen rights, respect and responsibility.”
The group attended a hearing for the Tampon Tax Bill, reporting that the majority of audience favored lowering the tax. Individuals including group members shared personal testimonies regarding high prices in feminine products, detailing challenges and personal experiences.
Although many representatives and senators were in session or meetings, the group was able to meet with several legislative assistants.
Senior Molly Nash said, “We are going there as constituents to show we care about these issues, and that as our representatives, these people should be voting in ways that support us. We hope to tell our stories in order to demonstrate how these laws and bills affect us.”
Though the Conversion Therapy bill does not have as much support as the latter, many groups are still in favor. If passed, this bill would make it illegal for licensed medical practitioners to perform “therapy,” damaging and ineffective.
Although there is currently no bill, the group additionally lobbied for comprehensive sex education in Missouri schools, a crucial component of education that is perpetually taught ineffectively.
This will be Emily Stisser’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.