Sunday's historic passage of Healthcare Reform also makes history for America's mothers as language from The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act becomes LAW.
Finally, the plight of millions of American women, infants and families has been acknowledged and the tide forever turned. With this long-sought federal mandate, states will find more support for PPD programs, researchers will find funding encouragement to continue their search for etiology and cure, and communities will harken to respond to this unmet need. Grants will be made available to fund a variety of entities and programs charged with caring for women suffering from postpartum depression.
There are no words to express our collective gratitude to the following individuals who began this march so long ago. Each step was filled with conviction, tears, controversy, guts, belief, outrage, setbacks and hope. And now, we can all begin to feel that at long last the doors and hearts of America are open to the maternal suffering that may no longer be silent and stigmatized.
To U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, you are an unwavering champion of the women and infants you represent. Against all odds, you never once set aside this initiative. You are not the Senator from New Jersey, you are the Senator of America's mothers.
To NJ Senate President Richard Codey and the courageous Mary Jo - beloved by all for taking on the most difficult role of her life - with your example, your stigma busting campaign and your groundbreaking state legislation, you set the bar for our nation to follow. "Speak Up When You're Down" she said. And women have not been silent since.
To Congressman Bobby L. Rush, who brought the House to its feet with near unanimous consensus and forceful leadership on this issue, your unfaltering crusade has led us to this moment. Without your work, your belief, our voices would still be murmurs of closeted shame. You are the change you sought, you live the life you lead others to believe in.