Bill S.1375 is currently in the first stage of the legislative process. It was introduced to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on March 11, 2008.
The “Mothers Act” would screen pregnant women for potential depression -- and treat them with antidepressants during and/or after pregnancy to avoid post partum depression.
The latest installment in the U.S. national drive to senselessly medicate all citizens for any reason is the “Mothers Act,” co-sponsored by Presidential candidate Barack Obama, and senators Bernard Sanders (VT), Sherrod Brown (OH), and Christopher Dodd (CT).
What is the “Mothers Act”?
The following summary of bill S.1375, provided by the Congressional Research Service, explains:
Mom's Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act or the MOTHERS Act - Amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to:
(1) states to provide to women who have recently given birth and their families, before such women leave their birthing centers, education concerning postpartum depression, postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, and postpartum psychosis and to screen new mothers for such postpartum conditions during their first year of postnatal checkup visits; and
(2) public or nonprofit private entities to provide for the delivery of essential services to individuals with such postpartum conditions and their families.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the heads of other federal agencies that administer federal health programs, to organize a series of national meetings that are designed to develop a research plan for postpartum depression and psychosis.
Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director, to expand and intensify research relating to postpartum conditions to carry out such plan.
As benevolent as this sounds, it is undoubtedly just another spoke in the wheel of Big Pharma that runs the United States.
A couple of the problems with this bill are that it doesn’t require full disclosure of risks and side effects of antidepressant drugs, nor does it include alternative forms of non-drug treatment.
It is being promoted under the guise of making sure new mothers are protected from, and given the tools to manage, postpartum depression. Can there be any doubt that many women will be deemed in need of medication?
I believe you will see similar drugging rates to that of the non-mandated Teen Screen program, which results in drug prescriptions for about 90 percent of children who take the screening test.
Going Down the Path of Least Common Sense
Not only have antidepressant drugs been documented to be ineffective, they’ve also been linked to serious adverse reactions such as mania, hallucinations, suicidal and sometimes homicidal tendencies. Do we really want to unleash more of these dangerous drugs on pregnant women and mothers?
How many more tragedies like Andrea Yates can we stand?
In case you don’t remember, Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the bathtub while on four mind-altering drugs to treat her postpartum depression, which developed after the birth of her fourth child.
It would also be intuitively obvious that taking a synthetic drug during pregnancy could be dangerous, and in most cases ill-advised since they increase your risk of:
- Spontaneous abortion
- Preterm birth
- Serious birth defects
There are many other potential dangers of antidepressants, and if you are not familiar with them it would serve you well to start reviewing them.
For information on non-toxic alternatives, my article “Depression Treatment Options” is a place to start.
How You Can Help Stop the “Mothers Act”
The “Mothers Act” bill was already passed by the House with only three “no” votes. It is currently before the Senate, but there are still several things you can do to voice your concern and help stop this dangerous bill.
- Sign the petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-dangerous-and-invasive-mothers-act
- After you sign the petition, read and distribute the press release found at http://uniteforlife.org/MOTHERpress.htm
- Contact your senator(s) by fax and/or telephone
Sen. Michael B. Enzi (WY)
Sen. Judd Gregg (NH)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN)
Sen. Richard Burr (NC)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK)
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (UT)
Sen. Pat Roberts (KS)
Sen. Wayne Allard (CO)
Sen. Tom Coburn (OK)
Edward Kennedy (MA)
Christopher Dodd (CT) - co-sponsor of the bill.
Tom Harkin (IA)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Patty Murray (WA)
Jack Reed (RI)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY)
Barack Obama (IL) - co-sponsor of the bill
Bernard Sanders (VT) - co-sponsor of the bill
Sherrod Brown (OH) - co-sponsor of the bill