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Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act Moves Forward

By Expert HERWriter
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The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, H.R. 20 is scheduled for markup this Wednesday, March 4th, in the Energy & Commerce Committee. This version of the original bill (passed by nearly unanimous bipartisan support in October of 2007,) includes enhancements from U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s MOTHERS Act with regard to screening, and Congressman Bobby Rush’s call for increased funding for etiological research.

Additionally, the bill maintains Congressman Pitt’s compromise language regarding a longitudinal study on depression as a result of voluntary or involuntary termination of a pregnancy. This is important because women whose babies are stillborn, who miscarry, or elect termination are also subjected to these devastating disorders and have not been represented in previously reported statistics or research.

The next step after successful markup would be a full House vote, followed by similar action in the U.S. Senate.

Thank you to Congressman Bobby L. Rush, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Richard Durbin for your unceasing efforts on behalf of America’s mothers!

Below is a list of Congressman who have been selected to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 111th Congress. We encourage you to contact them to encourage support and passage of this legislation!

Henry A. Waxman, CA, Chair
Joe Barton, TX, Ranking Member
John Dingell, MI, Chair Emeritus
Ralph Hall, TX
Edward Markey, MA
Fred Upton, MI
Rick Boucher, VA
Cliff Stearns, FL
Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ
Nathan Deal, GA
Bart Gordon, TN
Ed Whitfield, KY
Bobby Rush, IL
John Shimkus, IL
Anna Eshoo, CA
John Shadegg, AZ
Bart Stupak, MI
Roy Blunt, MO
Eliot Engel, NY
Steve Buyer, IN
Gene Green, TX
George Radanovich, CA
Diana DeGette, CO
Joseph Pitts, PA
Lois Capps, CA
Mary Bono Mack, CA
Michael Doyle, PA
Greg Walden, OR
Jane Harman, CA
Lee Terry, NE
Janice Schakowsky, IL
Mike Rogers, MI
Charles Gonzalez, TX
Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC
Jay Inslee, WA
John Sullivan, OK
Tammy Baldwin, WI
Tim Murphy, PA
Mike Ross, AR
Michael Burgess, TX
Anthony Weiner, NY
Marsha Blackburn, TN
Jim Matheson, UT
Phil Gingrey, GA
G.K. Butterfield, NC

Add a Comment6 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This act is not about medication. This act is about screening new mothers for a very serious condition. Hospitals screen every single pregnant woman for gestational diabetes when almost ten times as many women develop a postpartum mood disorder and we don't screen any of them. This act is here only to help women who are suffering from it and to educate the caregivers to better care for them. And although medication is needed for some women suffering from postpartum mood disorders it is not for all. There are many behavioral and cognitive therapies that are widely used in the treatment of postpartum mood disorders in addtion to many alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

October 21, 2009 - 6:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

The above post (by Anonymous on 10/21/09) is 100% correct. Yes, this is a complex issue but its goal is not to over prescribe drugs that aren't necessary. Screening during pregnancy and postpartum for depression and anxiety is crucial for the mental and physical health of the mother, baby and her entire family. Fear of the MOTHERS ACT stems from misinformation and stigma towards mental illness. Our society and medical providers need to treat the whole person (mental and physical) and screen accordingly. I realize this isn't the case currently. Depression and anxiety are detectable, treatable (with and without drugs) and COMMON parts of this time of a woman's life. Let's stop ignoring a very real and treatable illness and get with the program. I argue that screening for depression during pregnancy is not invading a prospective mother's privacy, it is practicing responsible medicine.

January 5, 2010 - 2:19pm
EmpowHER Guest

where ar drugs mentioned? I don't see that at all.

September 8, 2009 - 1:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

If you go to Mothers Act legislative updates, Senator Menendez' office press release incorrectly states that the Mother's Act is broadly popular among the general public which is far from the truth. Over 50 public groups have joined together in the coalition against the Mothers Act.

They include:


The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

Alliance for Human Research Protection

International Coalition For Drug Awareness

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights,


Mindfreedom International.

Also, common sense dictates that any bill that wasn't passed in 8 years of trying never has been, was or ever will be popular with the general public.

Larry B.

July 20, 2009 - 11:20am
EmpowHER Guest

Yes, we should move funds in this direction of truly helping women. However, the problem with that is that big pharma and psychiatry have their hands so deep in the “cash cow” pocket of the drug-market and have the public and physicians so convinced that anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs are the solution, that such a bill is not possible until all the smokescreens of the drug pushers are revealed and an honest bill is presented that is based on true medical ethics and a desire to truly help your fellow man.

I am convinced that this is simply the next strategy to hook all of society on “legal” drugs under the banner of “mental health.”

Let me point out one thing: How many billions of tax payer monies have been pumped into “mental health?” Now imagine that was your money and you had invested all that money into your company. What have those billions produced in terms of products — a few examples are 833,000 children and adolescents being prescribed psychotropic drugs every hour for “mental illnesses” that have never scientifically been proven to actually exist as “mental illnesses.” Another is the school shootings that are date coincident to the spike in prescription drugs in schools. Another is the suicides of kids and teenagers on these drugs.

We need to raise our confront of evil before blindly approving a new law into effect that could result in thousands of deaths to mothers and unborn children due to the adverse effects of the drugs that will most likely be administered as a “handling” for PPD. There is a solution to PPD and it is not psychotropic or anti-depressants drugs.

Please research the history of psychiatry and their mental health agenda.



April 15, 2009 - 5:52am
EmpowHER Guest

This bill would be useful if there were alternative health solutions even mentioned or allowed. But in fact, it's just another mandated recruiting tool for the shills of Big Pharma... the psychiatric "doctors" and mental "health" centers who will just drug and shock the mothers. Sad.

March 30, 2009 - 2:45pm
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