Senate Bill Proposes to Screen and Medicate Mothers

Senate Bill Proposes to Screen and Medicate MothersBy Ann Shibler Published: 2008-03-13 18:24 Email this page printer friendly version

ARTICLE SYNOPSIS:Called the MOTHERS Act, S. 1375 seeks to encourage and implement education, screening, health services, and anti-depressant medications for mothers-to-be or new mothers for post-partum depression, all according to the dictates of the federal government.

Follow this link to the original source: “MOTHERS Act Seeks to Drug Expectant Mothers with Anti-depressants to “Treat” Postpartum Depression”

COMMENTARY:Here’s another fabulously clever way for the government to have more people drawn into its clutches through a nationwide screening program, this time focusing on post-partum depression. And it is brought to you by the very busy and liberal Senator Robert Menendez, (NJ), and co-sponsored by Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Introduced in May 2007, and presently lodged in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, S. 1375 would provide the impetus and funds necessary to institute a program that would promote referral of mothers-to-be and new moms by nurses, doctors and mid-wives to “mental health care specialists” if they exhibit any signs of “mood disorders,” even if it’s during the pregnancy.

The bill is a bitter pill, but its language is unsurprisingly sugar coated:A bill to ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.

The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of antidepressants — i.e., psychotropic drugs — would be recommended and administered as part of the “essential services” program. The effectiveness of SSRIs that include Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, etc., have been questioned. There have also been concerns about side effects from the drugs leading to violent behavior.

Most SSRIs carry black box warnings for “suicide” as a side effect, or even “homicidal ideation.” Obviously real physical and mental damage could occur in unborn developing babies if their mothers are coerced into taking these dangerous, addictive, and unpredictable drugs, not to mention to the mothers themselves. A popular opinion among medical caregivers these days is that “post-partum mood disorders” are a sign of an underlying biochemical imbalance, so the answer must be drugs. But many women report getting through their real post-partum depression with the love, help, and support of family and friends, and alternative methods. Some have discovered alternatives (scroll down toward the end) to treating post-partum depression that can be as simple as diet changes, supplements, or exercise.

The relative effectiveness of drug treatments for post-partum depression or for any other medical condition is not really the point, however. The real issue is federal involvement. A course of treatment should be an individualized arrangement formed through doctor-patient consultation. The federal government should not be involved, given the potential that Big Pharma lobbyists might well desire a program, such as the one proposed, because it would lead to lucrative sales. Not content with “mental health” screenings for school children and military veterans that have real and permanent consequences, now big government plans to intrude into the womb as well.Ann ShiblerAnn is the Editorial Assistant for the John Birch Society.

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5 thoughts on “Senate Bill Proposes to Screen and Medicate Mothers

  1. Amy, I’m not sure how you got “pushing drugs on mothers” out of a bill that provides grants to be used for screening for perinatal mood disorders. I suffered from Post traumatic stress disorder after having my son, and if I would have been screened before I left the hospital, my doctor would have known that my birth experience was traumatic. If my doctor would have known, I would have been able to start counseling immediately and I may have been saved from the year of torture after having my son that was plagued with flashbacks, nightmares, and intense anxiety. Do you think it’s any coincidence that this country has the second worst infant mortality rate in the developed world, and one of the highest rates of cesarean births in the as well (one in three, while the World Health Organization recommends one in ten)? We are also the only country in the developed world that discourages having midwifes attend births. Prevention and screening is the key.

  2. Hi Jodi, I am well aware that we have a high infant mortality rate and high c-section rate. I am a natural birth advocate and gave birth at home with my second. The only medical treatment mentioned in the bill is medication. We do not need a government mandate for screening and “treatment.” So what stopped you from going to get counseling?

    If you read the WSJ article, it promoted the use of Zoloft during pregnancy to prevent PTSD. Also, if you read the comment from Susan Stone it states that the bill’s intent is to provide “effective” care be it therapy, medication, or some combination. As my doctor told me, Zoloft is the standard of care for PPD or anxiety. There is a huge effort underway to promote prevention of depression etc via preemptive drugging during the ‘perinatal’ period (meaning during pregnancy as well as after).

    I find it absurd that you think drugging women or treating PTSD would prevent c-sections and infant mortality. Counseling doesn’t have the potential to hurt the way drugs do.

    Drugging women actually CAUSES c-sections by stressing the baby leading to drops in heart rate. Please see the WSJ response in “Sanders Turns Blind Eye to Victims…” in the article above or here: http://www.uniteforlife.org/sandersblind.pdf

    You may also want to read this press release:
    http://christiannewswire.com/news/425397285.html
    ‘Babies At Risk As Reid Spikes Omnibus With Psychotropic MOTHERS Act’
    and this one
    http://christiannewswire.com/news/373117355.html
    ‘Mothers Tell Harry Reid To Read Up On FDA Antidepressant Warnings’
    Also, please see these reports of adverse events from drugs reported to the FDA on c-section, SIDS, etc.
    http://www.momsandmeds.com/medsinmilkflyer.pdf
    http://www.momsandmeds.com/zoloftadverseneonatal.pdf

    and these charts on prematurity, spontaneous abortions, birth defects, stillbirths, etc. http://www.uniteforlife.org/weblettertosenateurgent.pdf
    See pages 4 and 5

  3. We are living in a medicated world, and it is incumbent on all of you who read this to do what you can to stop it. That antidepressants and antipsychotics do no good and in fact cause brain damage is a given. We know this!

    There is an answer – and that is to inundate Senator Charles Grassley (who hates the pharmaceutical companies) with letters requesting him to ask congress for funding for Soteria Houses where those with mental illness can get well without the debilitating effects of these drugs which have no benefit for anyone except Big Pharma. Read about Dr. Loren Mosher and the Soteria Project where those with mental illnesses got well with compassion and caring, not with drugs! Read what happened to my son under “TwinCities.com, then Death of No. 13, which number in a clinical study I tried unsuccessfully to get him out of for five months.

    Tell Senator Grassley it is time to take a stand against the pharmaceutical companies. Write to him in care of Angela Choy, 217 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. (By writing in care of her it will eliminate one step in the screening process.) I have talked to Ms. Choy and Senator Grassley is very interested in eliminating the drug companies’ hold on our country.

    One person can make a difference – YOU!

    Thank you.

    Mary Weiss

  4. Mary – thank you for writing. I want to get everyone who is working so hard right now on The MOTHERS Act to take the time and send a note in support of the Soteria project. People who have serious issues need alternatives and compassion. I have been in the psych hospital and I have seen how patients are treated and drugged beyond belief. It’s a miracle more people aren’t dropping dead on these drugs. We must fight to save others from the fate of your son. The experimentation for profit and God knows what other motives must stop.

    When will the drug pushers realize that no amount of research is going to prove their drugs work? I attended a lecture by Graham Emslie, a NIMH researcher who does trials on children at UTSW. He admitted that they have never proven antidepressants are effective yet they continue recruiting children into studies in an attempt to get a study ‘properly designed’ enough to prove safety or efficacy.

    It’s time for this killing to stop – NOW.

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