U.S. Senator Robert Menendez reintroduced important postpartum depression legislation in Senate January 26th, 2009!!
Today, I had the joy of participating in a conference call with the office of Senator Menendez and the other organizational sponsors of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act where we received the heads up that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez was hoping to reintroduce the bill today. And as of this afternoon, that is exactly what he has done!! For hundreds of thousands of American mothers and families, this renews the hope that 2009 will indeed be the year when Congress acknowledges our nation’s mothers by addressing the full spectrum of maternal experience and finally passing this legislation .
The statistics we have on the numbers of women suffering from perinatal mood disorders (which range from 12 – 22% in the research) easily exceed the incidence associated with a public health crisis. And remember, these statistics, do NOT include the suffering of women who miscarry, endure stillbirths, give up babies for adoption or terminate pregnancies, all of whom are also susceptible to these devastating disorders and whose circumstances are included in the furthering of research and support being sought.
It is not too soon to begin contacting the senators in your state to let them know you support this long overdue legislation!! And while you are at it, feel free to express your support to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez for whose steadfast determination we are so very grateful.Thank you to Senator Robert Menendez and the bill’s other leading cosponsors, Senators Richard Durbin, (D-IL) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
If your organization would like to become a sponsor of this crucial bill, please contact Emma Palmer in Senator Menendez’s office at 202-224-4744.
Yes, we’ve called our Senators, written them, and speak out daily about the NEED for improved care for women just like us.
BUT… we’re not being heard. Instead, the voices of those who would argue that the MOTHER’S Act will force new mothers to take medication and submit to screening are the ones being heard. The MOTHER’S Act will not force medication on anyone – what it will do is provide the opportunity for every mother to have access to treatment for a PMD if she has one. The method of treatment is up to the mother and her physician (and frankly, if my physician wasn’t on the same page as I was or at least willing to back up his reasoning with some pretty strong fact, I’d find another physician!) and drugs may not be the best route for every mother – but EVERY MOTHER WHO SUFFERS DESERVES ACCESS TO TREATMENT.