August, a pro-choice menstruation health brand launched “The Tampon Test,” a discreet pregnancy test hidden as a tampon wrapper inside August tampon boxes. The issue is making users aware of their digital surveillance in a post-Roe world.
The creation of The Tampon Test coincides with both the 50th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, which transformed a reproductive rights and bodily autonomy — and the repeal of the decision a year ago.
Following the overturn of Roe V. Wade, 14 U.S. states have retracted rights around abortions. Others have been prosecuted for seeking abortion care. In the era of data surveillance, states are using direct messages, cookies and search history as circumstantial evidence in court, effectively weaponizing private data.
The Tampon Test was produced in partnership with WPP agencies VMLY&R, BCW, The Vault and Hogarth.
Nadya Okamoto, co-founder of August, said: “By disguising tests as tampons, we are bringing awareness to the lack of privacy and reflection, which would allow menstruators the time and space to make timely and informed decisions about their reproductive health privately.”
While The Tampon Test will not be available for purchase, August hopes the limited-edition kits inspire women to educate themselves about how their data is being used and shared. It also encourages support of “My Body, My Data” legislation.
As part of The Tampon Test campaign, August is collaborating withStix, a vaginal and reproductive health brand, and Plan C, a reproductive health campaign for universal abortion pill access in the U.S.
“At Stix, a huge part of our mission is to educate people on their reproductive health and rights,” said Jamie Norwood and Cynthia Plotch, Stix co-founders and co-CEOs. “Being able to track periods is an essential part of understanding so many health-related factors when it comes to birth control, family planning and identifying potential serious health issues.”
“At Plan C, we're aware that unjust criminalization remains a risk for people who manage their own health care. Pregnancy and abortion information should be private," said Imani Wilson-Shabazz, a partnership-engagement manager for Plan C. "The Tampon Test is our way of encouraging people to learn more about their available options and resources."