Just Say No to the Mothers Act

Just Say No to the Mothers Act

by Evelyn PringleThe customer base the psycho-pharmaceutical industry is hoping to corral through passage of the Mothers Act is the more than four million women who give birth in the US each year. That number was 4,317,119 in 2007, according to the CDC.

The Act’s passage, after eight years of solid efforts, would set the stage for the screening of all pregnant women for a whole list of mental disorders. The bill has already passed in the US House of Representatives and will soon be up for a vote in the Senate.

The definition section of the Act specifically states that the term “postpartum condition” means “postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis.” There is not one word about perinatal “mood” or “anxiety” disorders in the bill.

The transformation of the postpartum language in the Act to further the formation of a new cottage industry for treating multiple disorders can be traced back to websites such as Postpartum Progress, Postpartum Support International, and a site called PerinatalPro, which leads directly to the treatment center owned by the site’s creator Susan Stone.

On January 26, 2009, Susan cranked out an announcement on the internet with the headline: “U.S. Senator Robert Menendez reintroduces important postpartum depression legislation in Senate today!!”

However, in Stone’s message to the pubic the “postpartum depression” in the headline suddenly transforms into “perinatal mood disorders,” and she warns of a crisis of epidemic proportions in stating:

“The statistics we have on the numbers of women suffering from perinatal mood disorders (which range from 12 – 22% in the research) easily exceed the incidence associated with a public health crisis.”

“And remember,” she says, “these statistics, do NOT include the suffering of women who miscarry, endure stillbirths, give up babies for adoption or terminate pregnancies, all of whom are also susceptible to these devastating disorders and whose circumstances are included in the furthering of research and support being sought.”

In her message, Susan reports: “Today, I had the joy of participating in a conference call with the office of Senator Menendez and the other organizational sponsors of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act where we received a heads up that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez was hoping to reintroduce the bill today.”

While the Mothers Act refers to helping women with postpartum depression and psychosis only, the bill’s top promoters, obviously kept in the loop by the main sponsor in the Senate, clearly have a larger customer recruitment scheme in the works.

On a Postpartum Progress page with a heading, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!” the website’s creator, Katherine Stone, explains that the word perinatal “refers in this case to the period during and after pregnancy.”

“Among the mental disorders women face during this time, there are two main types: anxiety disorders and mood disorders,” she advises.

“Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder,” she reports.

“Mood disorders include depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis,” she explains. Under the heading “Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” she writes:

“All you have to do to be at risk for getting postpartum PTSD is to have the perception of a traumatic childbirth — in other words, even if your doctors and nurses feel that everything went fairly normally, if it was upsetting and scary and unexpected to you that’s what counts.”

She concludes with the misleading statement that, “all of these illnesses are completely treatable.”

Katherine’s bio claims she “is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”

In the Menendez press release on January 26, 2009, there was no mention of “mood” and “anxiety” disorders. If he was not in on this disease mongering plot, he would have told these two broads to knock it off by now.

Drugging for profit

Although no psychiatric drug has been FDA approved as safe for use by pregnant and nursing mothers, the treatment for all the perinatal mental disorders calls for the new generation of antidepressants, along with atypical antipsychotics and epilepsy drugs, now commonly referred to as “mood stabilizers.”

The atypical antipsychotics are Seroquel by AstraZeneca, Risperdal and Invega marketed by Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Geodon by Pfizer, Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis’ Clozaril, and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa. The average price for these drugs on DrugStore.com is about $900 for a hundred pills.

The SSRI and SNRI antidepressants include GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil and Wellbutrin, Pfizer’s Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs, Luvox by Solvay, Wyeth’s Effexor and Pristiq, and Lilly’s Prozac, Cymbalta, and Symbyax, a pill with Zyprexa and Prozac combined. The price of these drugs, on average, is about $300 for ninety pills at DrugStore.com.

On March 23, 2009, Philip Dawdy reported on the popular website Furious Seasons, that “in a sign of just how bizarre things have gotten in DC, the FDA today approved Symbyax for treatment resistant depression, meaning depression that hasn’t responded to two anti-depressants.”

“So the FDA just approved a drug that’s known to cause diabetes, epic weight gain and suicidality to treat depression,” he said. “This makes so much sense!”

The antipsychotics are now the top money-makers. In overall prescription sales in the US, they led all classes of drugs in 2008, with sales of $14.6 billion, according to IMS Health. Anticonvulsants came in fourth with $11.3 billion in sales, followed by antidepressants at fifth with sales of $9.6 billion.

The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that one million women in the US have epilepsy, but the number of women taking anticonvulsants is reported to be two to three times higher than women with epilepsy. The prices for these drugs can run as high as $929 for 180 tablets of Glaxo’s Lamictal, and $1170 for 180 tablets of J&J’s Topamax.

Numerous recent reports have linked the use of drugs such as Depakote, Neurontin, Lamictal and Tegretol with not only suicide but also birth defects, including heart defects, brain damage, and mental retardation.

Big Pharma funds Mothers Act supporters

As of April 9, 2009, the groups supporting the Mother’s Act listed on PerinatalPro with Big Pharma funding traceable through their annual reports and the grant reports of Eli Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008, include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Psychiatric Association, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, March of Dimes, Mental Health America (MHA), National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, and the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA.

Pfizer’s 2008 grant report shows the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, received $10,000 for “General Operating Support.” Florida’s Bureau of Maternal and Child Health received funding from Lilly and Pfizer to launch a three-pronged maternal depression awareness initiative consisting of education, screening and advocacy, according to the July, 2005 paper, Improving Maternal and Infant Mental Health: Focus on Maternal Depression, by Ngozi Onunaku.

Collaborating partners also included the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, University of Miami, and Florida’s Department of Mental Health, Onunaku reports. Public awareness efforts reached the Florida State Legislature, who passed a resolution to establish April as women’s depression screening month.

Onunaku listed the Lilly and Pfizer funded Florida project as an example of state and community efforts that may be useful in reaching the goal of increasing maternal depression awareness. In the paper, he reported the following:

“Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy when mothers-to-be experience hormonal and biological changes, stress, and the demands of pregnancy. Approximately 14-25% of pregnant women have enough depressive symptoms to meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis.

“The use of medication to treat maternal depression is controversial; there is concern about mothers taking medication during pregnancy and after delivery, especially while breastfeeding. Research suggests that infant development is not adversely affected by certain kinds of medication.

“There is equal consideration regarding the possible risks posed to a child whose mother is severely depressed and needs medication but remains untreated.

In 2008, Lilly gave the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists $16,000, and a $2,000 donation was made in the third quarter of 2007.

Lilly gave the American Psychiatric Association grants worth more than $600,000 in both the first and second quarters of 2008. In 2007, the group received over $400,000 from Lilly. The drug maker gave roughly $450,000 more to the American Psychiatric Foundation for the APA fellowship program. Pfizer donated more than $700,000 to the “non-profit” APA in 2008.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is described as “a non-profit association representing 1,300 mental health and addictions treatment and rehabilitation organizations,” on its website. This gang received $200,000 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2008, and another $215,000 in the fourth quarter.

Mother’s Act supporter, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA, has merged with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, according to a November 6, 2008 press release announcement.

A year earlier, Emory University reported that Charles Nemeroff had been elected president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and would begin serving his three-year tenure in January 2008.

Emory’s press release noted that Nemeroff had served on the AFSP’s national board of directors since 1999 and had “been a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Council for more than 10 years and was named chair of the Council in 2007.”

In about the same time frame between 2000 and 2007, Senator Charles Grassley’s Senate Finance Committee investigation found that Nemeroff had earned more than $2.8 million from drug companies, but failed to disclose at least $1.2 million to Emory.

On November 3, 2008, Dr Bernard Caroll summed up Nemeroff’s fall from grace on the Healthcare Renewal website as follows:

“The fallout to date includes his severance from several NIH-funded projects at Emory University School of Medicine, a freeze of NIH funding for a major center grant, and his stepping down from Emory’s chair of psychiatry while an internal investigation proceeds.”

Dr. Nemeroff’s credibility is under a cloud, to say the least, and his influence is rapidly waning. … In the hardnosed, commercial world of Continuing Medical Education, for instance, the signs are that Dr. Nemeroff is toast. Whereas he once coordinated multi-city traveling CME road shows and a parade of spots on CME websites like Medscape, his profile now is suffering. Go to this Medscape website, for instance. You will find that his current Expert Viewpoint spots are missing, replaced by the message, “This article is temporarily unavailable.”

Nemeroff’s Bio on the Emory Website on December 22, 2008 listed his Clinical Interests as: “Depression and antipsychotic pharmacological therapy, social phobias, fetal effects of pre- and post-natal drug therapy, depression, mood disorders, antipsychotic therapy.”

Lilly’s 2008 grant report shows the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA received one $10,000 grant and another $70,000 grant. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also received three grants worth $78,000.

Lilly’s 2007 report shows the Action Network received $10,000 in one quarter and $70,000 in another. The Foundation got $25,000 in 2007. The 2004 spring issue of USA’s Network News reports that: “Network News is funded by a grant from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.”

The Summer 2005 Network News noted that “Donations Sustain SPAN USA.”

The donor list shows Pfizer gave over $10,000. The group received more than $1,000 from Bristol-Meyers, Janssen, and Novartis. Forest Pharmaceuticals gave over $500.

The 2006 Spring Network News announced the “Friend for Life” sponsors. Forest and the industry’s trade group, PhRMA donated over $15,000. Pfizer gave between $10,000 and $14,999. Solvay was listed as giving between $6,000 and $9,999 and companies that gave between $2,000 and $5,999 were AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers. J&J, Lilly and Novartis each donated between $500 and $1,999.

As expected, the two most notorious front groups, NAMI and MHA, received the most money from psychiatric drug makers. NAMI’s annual reports list about every drug company on the planet as a corporate partner without specifying how much each donated. But the grant reports of Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008 show NAMI groups received millions of dollars from those two drug makers alone.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, Pfizer gave NAMI a grant of $132,000 to fund a campaign that best describes the drug maker’s goal called the “Campaign for the Mind of America.” In the third quarter, Pfizer doled out another $225,000 to fund the same campaign.

Lilly is also funding the Campaign for the Mind, with grants of $450,000 in both 2007 and 2008. Lilly also provides extra funding to NAMI groups all over the country for the “Walk for the Mind of America.” In 2007, walking money totaled $17,000 in the first quarter, $11,500 in the second, and $13,000 for the third and fourth combined. In 2008, Lilly’s “Walk for the Mind” quarterly totals were $11,500, $24,000, $12,500 and $2,000.

In 2007, NAMI presented a $50,000 “Mind of America Scientific Research Award” to Dr A John Rush. He also landed on the Grassley hit list last fall for not disclosing drug company money to the University of Texas.

On April 6, 2009, Senator Grassley sent a letter to NAMI asking for the disclosure of all funding from drug makers and industry created foundations over the past few years.

Mental Health America groups also received millions of dollars from Pfizer and Lilly alone in 2007 and 2008. This group runs a “Campaign for America’s Mental Health” and received grants of $200,000 and $300,000 in 2008 from Pfizer to fund it. Lilly gave $300,000 to fund this Campaign in 2007.

MHA’s 2006 annual report shows the group received over $1 million each from Lilly, Bristol-Myers, and Wyeth. Janssen and Pfizer gave between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and AstraZeneca and Forest donated between $100,000 and $499,000. Glaxo gave between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2006.

The most troubling donation to this Mothers Act supporter is a $20,000 Pfizer grant to a Georgia group to fund: Project Healthy Moms: Education for Prevention/Treatment for Perinatal Depression Disorders, which apparently ended up, at least in part, in the pocketbook of Katherine Stone.

The Georgia group’s June 8, 2008 e-news said the grant was for: “Project Healthy Moms: What You Need To Know About Perinatal Mood Disorders.”

The $20,000 funded 1-hour speaking events with Katherine, “aimed at educating practitioners and the general public throughout Georgia about prevention of and treatment for such illnesses as ante partum depression, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD and postpartum psychosis,” the newsletter said.

Katherine was described as a “former postpartum OCD sufferer and author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum mood disorders.”

E-news said attendees would learn: “One size does NOT fit all: Why postpartum depression is just part of a spectrum of mood disorders women may experience & what to look for.”

The newsletter only listed 5 scheduled events but told readers to contact Katherine directly by email or phone to schedule more. E-news did acknowledge that: “This special hour of learning is made possible by a grant from Pfizer,” but listed no amount.

The leaders of these “non-profits” are also making out like bandits. In 2006, NAMI’s top dog, Michael Fitzpatrick, had a salary of $212,281, and $10,090 in employee benefit contributions and deferred compensation plans, for a 35-hour work week.

MHA’s 2002 tax returns show the CEO and President, Michael Faenza, received compensation of $306,727, and another $35,275 in contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation that year, for a 35 hour work week.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance received $37,510 from Lilly in 2007 and $20,000 in 2008. This group provides live links to form letters that can be filled in and sent to Congress members asking them to vote for the Mother’s Act. The two Stone gals provide links to the Mothers Act alerts put out by the Alliance on their websites.

The group’s 2007 Annual Report shows this non-profit received between $150,000 and $499,000 from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Wyeth. Abbott, Cyberonics, Lilly, Forest, Glaxo, Organon, and Otsuka American Pharmaceuticals gave between $10,000 and $149,999.

The report also notes that a “First-ever DBSA Hope Award” for lifetime achievement was presented to Frederick Goodwin. Back in August 2002, the speakers at the annual conference of the Alliance included three stars from the Grassley hit list, Goodwin, Nemeroff and Joseph Beiderman.

The front groups team up with a “non-profit” called “Screening for Mental Health,” to carry out mental illness screening days all over the country every year. Their websites also provide live links to internet screening programs set up by this firm.

Up to 2008, the SMH had received close to $5 million from drug companies. Lilly gave the firm $124,000 in 2007 and $100,000 in 2008.

Finally, the Children’s Defense Fund received a grant for $125,000 in 2003 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The March of Dimes got $6,500 from Pfizer in 2008, and the National Association of Social Workers also received $7,500 from Pfizer.
Amy Philo, a young Texas mother who survived what can only be described as a postpartum ambush by the psycho-pharmaceutical cartel, is at the forefront of the “Unite for Life” coalition fighting against the Mothers Act. As of April 25, 2009, the Unite coalition had thirty-five orginazations signed on as opposed to the legislation. Needless to say, none of them were listed in the grant reports of Lilly or Pfizer.

Amy was screened and drugged because she got extremely concerned about her baby and had a panic attack after watching him nearly choke to death. “I lived through forced hospitalization, drugging, and four months of being homicidal, suicidal, and psychotic because of Zoloft,” she recounts on her website.

“No mother should have to live through what I have,” she states.

Over a recent three to four year period, Amy found there were 1,031 documented deaths of babies caused by psychiatric drug exposure reported to the FDA’s MedWatch system.

Amy recently learned that the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives has withdrawn their support from the Mothers Act. However, she reports a new addition to the list of supporters is the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A quick check of their website found the group’s corporate sponsors include Wyeth, Glaxo, J&J, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur.

************* Evelyn Pringle


(This article was sponsored by the Pogust, Braslow & Millrood law firm in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania)

(Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Scoop Independent News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America)

Which One of These Possible MOTHERS Act Pushers is Not Like The Other?

A friend of mine sent me a link to an article on Beliefnet pushing The MOTHERS Act. I attempted to publish a comment twice, but they have yet to approve my comment. http://tinyurl.com/beliefnetMA

I recognize the name of the program “Beyond Blue” and although I can’t remember for sure, it seems I read about their programs a while back being pharma-funded. If anyone has info on that please send it my way. I think it’s this international initiative to target PPD… I know I’ve seen it several times before but I was absolutely horrified to see it on Beliefnet. Although I suppose belief is an appropriate word for the faith the drug pushers have in psychiatric treatments.

Here is the comment I made on the article:

I take issue with the first comment by Cheryl Jazzar above, “What many outside the perinatal mood support community do not realize is this: psychiatric medications are NOT the first line of defense in treating any mood or anxiety disorder.”

First of all, PSI is not “the” “support” community and it is not the authority on “mood” issues.

Although Jazzar is correct that there are many “alternatives” to psychiatric drugs (see: http://tinyurl.com/PPDprevention), she is incorrect on what the “first line” of defense is. Women who are considered “at risk” of PPD and a host of other “mood disorders” are drugged well before two weeks postpartum all the time. I was one. I know many people who were drugged upon delivery to “prevent” PPD. I have looked at the clinical guidelines and the “expert” recommendations of “reproductive psychiatrists” who target “perinatal” (i.e. DURING and after pregnancy) “mood disorders.”

It’s disingenuous to associate oneself with a group that promotes psychiatric drugs and the pscycho / pharma industry to pregnant and new mothers, and then turn around and attempt to portray the same group as mostly non-pharma oriented.

However it’s interesting that people continue trying to repair the reputation of PSI all over the place and save face, when this is not primarily an issue about PSI’s reputation. It’s a matter of life or death for millions of women, children, and their families.

The majority of people in this country may not currently be on psychotropic drugs, but the largest psycchopharma market exists in the childbearing sector of the population. At least one third of all pregnant women are exposed to psychotropic drugs at some point during their pregnancy. If they can scare women into thinking they are about to become mentally ill, the pharma / psychiatric community will do so. Anything to make money.

It doesn’t matter if babies and mothers die.

As a woman who was screened and drugged for simply being extremely concerned about my baby and having a panic attack after he nearly choked to death at the hospital, requiring emergency rescue (that was a “risk factor” for “Severe PPD”) – I lived through forced hospitalization, drugging, and four months of being homicidal, suicidal, and psychotic because of Zoloft.

No mother should have to live through what I have. And let’s not forget about what happened to Melanie Stokes when she was drugged with four different cocktails and repeatedly electroshocked.

Anyone who supports this bill must not realize that antidepressants can cause psychosis, suicide, homicide, and infant death. If you did, you could not possibly support it when the risk is so high.

You can read the actual bill text and compare it to last year’s text on my website. I am passing along this link which analyzes the text of the bill and explains to those who care what the bill is really all about.


Luckily for now, my comment is, however, appearing on the What To Expect When You’re Expecting blog.

AmyPhilo said on 4/25/2009 3:05:00 PM:

Here is what really happened to Melanie Stokes:


How sad that you would endorse a bill that will result in more pregnant and new mothers using psychotropic drugs. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by asking if you have read Melanie’s actual story, I will just assume that you have read it and don’t seem to be overly concerned by the fact that she died after being treated with four different drug cocktails and repeated electroshock. Drugs she was given fequently cause and worsen psychosis. Shame on you.

1031 documented deaths of babies caused by psychotropic drug exposure have been reported to the FDA over a recent three-four year period. http://tinyurl.com/1031deaths Perhaps you chose to support the bill based on its name. Have you as an author considered doing any actual research into the bill to see what will actually result from the programs?

Based on your support millions of women are bound to be misled and encouraged to believe in the “safety” of drugs for pregnancy and nursing. More babies are going to die, just like this baby Indiana:



Take that 1031 dead babies figure and multiply it by 10-100 because the FDA estimates that those MedWatch reports represent 1-10% of actual adverse events.

Considering that Vogue magazine is talking about the risks of death and birth defects caused by SSRIs in this month’s edition, http://tinyurl.com/VogueSSRI , I suppose people are starting to wake up. When they find out that you are supporting this they are bound to lose faith in your books.

Finally, it seems that PSI is adding more groups to their MOTHERS Act pusher list to attempt to give it legitimacy. My favorite ironic-sounding name of one of their latest sponsors is the “National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.” Go here to see a list of the numerous pharmaceutical companies who sponsor them. http://www.hmhb.org/portfolio_description.html#sponsors
I suppose it’s kind of like asking Pfizer to sponsor The MOTHERS Act… Oh but wait…
Last but not least, a promising note about the PSI list of sponsors of The MOTHERS Act:

Apparently (according to Nicole Deggins – http://yourbirthright.info/ who has been in touch with these CPMs)-
The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives has withdrawn their support from The MOTHERS Act. We are waiting to see if Susan Stone will remove their name from her list.

On behalf of the more than 10,580 victims, survivors and experts who have signed our petition and the 35 grassroots groups who support us and don’t want to see more mothers and babies dying, I call on any caring group who has rashly lent their support to the bill to remove their name from the list maintained by Susan Stone. Oh except for the pharma front groups because you’re not really caring or rash but apparently seem to be calculated in your actions – and besides, it’s what we expect.

Psychiatric Torture of Suffragists


Here’s an article detailing some of the ways that the women who protested to get the right to vote recognized by our legal system were punished. Namely, they were put in prison, then later after initiating a hunger strike, these women were locked up in psychiatric wards and tortured by having tubes forced down their throats for forced feedings, and were subjected to other brutal physical abuses.

…For five months the White House siege continued, while Congress, controlled by the Democrats, refused to act without word from the president. Still Wilson remained silent. Finally, in late June, the stalemate broke. Public anger erupted and the administration’s patience snapped when NWP pickets raised a banner highly critical of Wilson as a Russian delegation visited the White House. A hostile crowd ripped down the banner, and next morning Lucy Burns and another woman became the first picketers to be hustled away in a police patrol wagon. They were scolded for their behavior and released pending trial; four more later received the same treatment. Within a few days, those six women were convicted on the traffic obstruction charges and spent three days in jail — the first suffragists imprisoned for their cause. It was only the beginning. Early in July, 11 women — including Lucy Burns — were sent to jail. Two weeks later 16 women were stunned to get 60-day sentences, and not in the D.C. jail, but the more dreaded Workhouse for Women at Occoquan, Va.

…Once, during a police court trial, a government attorney shook his finger at Alice Paul and said, We’ll get you yet. Although she had been directing battle strategy from behind the scenes until then, he was sure that sooner or later the general would go out to lead her troops — and be captured. It happened in October 1917, when Paul was hauled off the picket line twice in two weeks and hit with the heaviest sentence to date — seven months in the D.C. jail.

There she and her companions encountered hardships rivaling Occoquan’s — no privacy; stifling, overcrowded, vermin-infested cells; a near-starvation diet that left them almost too weak to stand; close to total isolation. Privileges enjoyed by regular inmates were denied the suffragists. Washington’s Warden Louis Zinkhan was apparently competing with Occoquan’s Whittaker for the title of Most Ferocious.

Already detested by their jailers as troublemakers and traitors, the suffragists infuriated them further by demanding political prisoner status. Their claim contemptuously dismissed, they soon devised a form of resistance not so easily ignored. The moment of decision came, as Alice Paul told it:

At the end of two weeks of solitary confinement…without any exercise, without going outside of our cells, some of the prisoners were released, having finished their terms….With our number thus diminished to seven…the doors were unlocked and we were permitted to take exercise. Rose Winslow fainted as soon as she got into the yard….I was too weak to move from my bed. Rose and I were taken on stretchers that night to the hospital….Here we decided upon…the ultimate form of protest left us — the strongest weapon left with which to continue…our battle….

Their ultimate form of protest was the hunger strike. Having worked with English suffragists some years before, Paul knew from painful experience what terrors lay in that direction: From the moment we undertook the hunger strike, a policy of unremitting intimidation began. `You will be taken to a very unpleasant place if you don’t stop this,’ was a favorite threat of prison officials, as they would hint vaguely of the psychiatric ward, and the government insane asylum. Particularly frightening was examination by the alienist (a specialist in mental disorders), whose word was enough to commit anyone to the asylum.

Seriously weakened after three days of refusing food, Paul was taken to the psychiatric ward and subjected, along with some of her companions, to force-feeding three times daily. Between those feedings she endured solitary confinement in a tiny cell with boarded-up windows. This frail woman was, after all, the power behind the suffrage demonstrations. To crush them required breaking her spirit — and clearly, the authorities meant to break it.

But the government’s heavy-handed tactics only made matters worse. As reports of the prisoners’ experiences emerged, angry women flocked to Washington from across the country to join the fight and continue the picketing. In mid-November, 30 more demonstrators, drawing sentences ranging from six days to six months, were shipped to Occoquan. Grimly awaiting them was Superintendent Whittaker. Once, accused by a suffragist prisoner of practicing cruelty, he readily admitted, Very well, I am willing to practice cruelty.

You can read more about how these women were tortured simply for seeking the right to vote by going to the link at the top of this blog entry. It would be a shame after all women have fought for and the sacrifices made to allow people to equate the pharmaceutical front groups’ sham fight to pass off the MOTHERS Act campaign as something that women are crying out for, somehow a “right” that we don’t yet have…

That’s funny, I haven’t noticed a huge issue with doctors refusing to hand out drugs or call you mentally ill, in fact it seems to be the opposite. Those who complain that they weren’t given enough psychiatric treatment at one time or another tend to have three things in common: 1) They’re alive to tell about it; 2) Most are not grieving the loss of a baby who died from psychotropic drug exposure; and 3) All of those women had the right to go ask for mental health treatment and drugs from a different doctor or therapist if they so desired. No government program was required to give them access to that. (Unless you think that those women too rich for Medicaid need tax payers to buy them their pills.)


Really? Yes, because the thing women want the most is for the government to interfere more in their lives and cause them to need to go to the psychiatric ward for the confusing event of becoming suicidal and homicidal on an antidepressant but not knowing that it’s the drug and not PPD. What women are really crying out for today is for pharma to get free ads to do their diseasemongering to women and plant the seed in their mind that they may become mentally ill and should think twice about having another baby.

See all those women out there picketing in the streets in front of the White House demanding that more mothers be put on drugs? Because we obviously are too mentally ill to find our own way to the doctor’s office to get a prescription, and one third of pregnant women on psych drugs at some point during their pregnancies is too few. Or perhaps our families didn’t have a way to make sure we got our drugs and we’re just languishing around at home helplessly waiting for a knock on the door from a social worker who can check to see if we need a ride to the psychiatrist.

Or maybe what we all really need is a government bus to take us to the pharmacy monthly to pick up our pills.

Yet, amazingly (or perhaps not, if you consider the source) there are inklings of sentiments out there that The MOTHERS Act is a final step in the women’s rights movement.

Only if you think depriving women of informed consent and increasing the chance that they will have a baby who dies, or that they will commit suicide or homicide will somehow enhance their freedom. Perhaps their freedom to live in la la land, locked up in a psych ward just like Andrea Yates.



Those of us who know the dangers have to keep the fight going strong in order to prevent more babies from dying and moms going insane. Let’s not spit on the graves of our heroes who fought so hard and risked their lives to give us a voice. Speak up and let yours be heard.

1031 Deaths of Babies Exposed to Psychotropic Drugs

“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”
– President Dwight David Eisenhower

Below is a link that shows some of the MedWatch reports submitted to the FDA of deaths caused to babies by exposure prenatally and neonatally to psychotropic drugs. This does not include the birth defects and withdrawal syndromes for babies who did survive exposure, which seems to be the only thing we usually hear about in the media concerning the drugs’ risks for babies. These figures are based on about a four year time period and represent from 1-10% of likely actual deaths. Keep in mind that these were preventable deaths of helpless babies which would not have occurred were it not for the exposure to psychotropic drugs prenatally and neonatally.

Go to http://psychdrugdangers.com/MothersAct.html and look through the summary tables for the 1,031 Abortions, Miscarriages & Other Deaths. You can see the breakdown for each drug class.

Fish & Richardson, US DOJ Settle Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of Children Case Against Pennsylvania Psych Facility

From Vince Boehm:

Stefan Kruszewski is a Harrisburg, PA psychiatrist and a personal hero who was hired by the Bureau of Program Integrity in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

He was fired in 2003 after he uncovered widespread abuse and fraud in the bureau. His efforts to clarify the causes of death in four children and one adult in the state’s care were blocked when he was denied postmortem or coroner’s reports and hospital records.

Some of the patients were taking as many as five antipsychotic medications at the same time-something Dr Kruszewski says is “hard to justify.” When he warned that off-label use of the drugs was potentially harmful to patients and could expose the state to liability he was told that “it’s none of your business”.

Kruszewski says, “I was terminated because I did my job. It turns out that drug companies and politicians were influencing the drugs prescribed for patients.”

Dr. Kruszewski sued for-profit Youth and Family Centered Services and its subsidiary Southwood Psychiatric Hospital (YFCS) in Pennsylvania for Medicaid fraud and abuse of children at its residential
treatment facility.

This suit was settled yesterday.

For immediate release:

Fish & Richardson and the U.S. Department of Justice Settle Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Case at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital in Pennsylvania

April 23, 2009 —

PROSPERITY, PA — (Marketwire) — 04/23/09 — Fish & Richardson announced today that it, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, settled a lawsuit that had alleged substantial Medicaid fraud and the abuse of children at for-profit residential treatment facilities operated by Youth and Family Centered Services and its subsidiary Southwood Psychiatric Hospital (YFCS) in Pennsylvania. Fish represented Dr. Stefan P. Kruszewski, a board certified psychiatrist who had discovered and exposed fraud and abuse, but was then fired from his position as a medical consultant for the Bureau of Program Integrity in Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare. The United States government intervened to seek a resolution with regard to certain activities occurring in 2005. Under the settlement, YFCS, in addition to agreeing to pay a $150,000 fine to reimburse federal Medicaid funds, has agreed to implement comprehensive new treatment standards, an extensive compliance program, as well as increased government oversight of their programs. This settlement is the first resolution by the United States of a failure of care case involving Pennsylvania psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

YFCS runs three residential facilities in Pennsylvania for children aged 6 to 18 who have been deemed to require psychiatric care by the state. The government intervened in Dr. Kruszewski’s case to address a wide variety of serious quality of care concerns at these facilities, including woefully inadequate staffing and use of physical restraints which posed significant risks to the health and safety of the children housed in the YFCS facilities. As a result, YFCS allegedly submitted Medicaid reimbursement requests for inadequate or worthless treatment.

“This was a case of the exploitation of children for profit,” said Thomas Halkowski, a principal of Fish & Richardson in the firm’s Wilmington office, who, along with Thomas Melsheimer, a principal in Fish’s Dallas office, represented Dr. Kruszewski in the case. “Dr. Kruszewski should be commended for having the courage to come forward to protect this vulnerable group from further mistreatment. Because of his actions, we now have an agreement that provides a new standard of care to help safeguard the well being of those children in Pennsylvania who are housed in YFCS’s facilities. This agreement should also be a warning shot across the bow of other residential treatment facilities in Pennsylvania of the level of care they should be administering to Pennsylvania’s children.”

Because the Medicaid payments were administered through a joint federal/state Medicaid program, the U.S. government intervened in the case and became a party to the lawsuit and settlement agreement. The federal government has reserved the right to bring criminal charges and to exclude YFCS from Medicaid reimbursement programs in the future.

About the Attorneys

Thomas L. Halkowski is a Principal in the Wilmington, Delaware office of Fish & Richardson, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property and other complex litigation, including False Claims Act litigation. He was previously a Senior Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Tom Melsheimer is a Principal in and Managing Principal of Fish & Richardson’s Dallas office. His trial practice includes complex civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts, emphasizing intellectual property, antitrust, and False Claims Act litigation. Mr. Melsheimer was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1990 to 1993.

About Fish & Richardson

Fish & Richardson is a leading global law firm unlike any other law firm in the world. With 450 lawyers practicing intellectual property, litigation, and corporate law, Fish has redefined IP law for a market that values IP as a fundamental business asset. Fish was recently named one of the leading IP law firms in the U.S. by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (MIP, February 2009). The firm handles more patent litigation than any other law firm, both in federal district courts (IP Law360, January 2009) and the International Trade Commission (IP Law & Business, June 2008); and is the No. 1 patent firm for the world’s most innovative companies (IP Law & Business, November 2008).

Amy Blumenthal
Blumenthal & Associates
(617) 879-1511