While our senate heroes, U. S. Senators Robert Menendez and Richard Durbin of IL, co-sponsors of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, and their supporters - including presidential candidate Barack Obama and many other bipartisan advocates, lost a battle in the U.S. Senate today, we have not lost the war against postpartum depression and services for our nation's mothers. Indeed, this setback is not due to the lack of national support for the legislation, but a defiant blockade by one Senator, Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who has singlehandedly obstructed this and other legislation by using a procedural loophole never meant to overturn the will of the people.
While Senator Coburn himself failed to appear at yesterday's hearing, sparing himself and his conscience further consideration of facts which would have made such action impossible, he sent a surrogate whose mission was to continue his objection to the legislation thereby "denying relief to hundreds of thousands of mothers who suffer from the condition each year" said Senator Robert Menendez who advocated for the bill's passage.
Despite today's setback, Senator Menendez reaffirmed his commitment to continue this critical battle. "Hundreds of thousands of women across the country suffer at the hands of postpartum depression every year, and they deserve better than the ideological games being played with legislation intended to bring them relief," said Senator Menendez. "This is a cause I am committed to seeing through, and I will continue to stand up on behalf of mothers suffering from this condition until the blockade is cleared."