A basic human function like menstruation should no longer be a justification for denying women and girls with disabilities their basic human rights. It should no longer be a barrier to education, to independent reproductive choices and bodily integrity, or to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment.
While we're trying to perfect the art of fishing a tampon out of a backpack unnoticed, there are millions of girls around the world who don't have access to pads. And that's not even the worst of it: Because of a lack of sanitation and resources, many girls miss large swaths of school or drop out altogether once they start menstruating.
While having children has been the most life-altering experience and process I have lived through, I have to say that the blessing that I walked out of those years of (finally) diagnosis and treatment with -- the blessing I think of only now with distance from the moment -- is that I learned the importance of listening to my body's messages.