A Virtual License To Kill

To: House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Re: HB 3318 Infanticide Bill

I urge you to refuse adoption of the infanticide bill before your committee. I am a mother who has been to the brink and back of what some people consider postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. However it was not postpartum depression or psychosis at all, but rather the adverse effects of Zoloft. You can watch my YouTube video about what happened to me in 2004, when I was drugged by my OBGYN and later by psychiatrists simply for having a panic attack after my firstborn son almost died from a choking episode at the hospital: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQW23XCmOCw

As a survivor of Zoloft and psychiatry, I co-founded Children and Adults Against Drugging America and founded UNITE (uniteforlife.org). I have been active in coordinating a national campaign to stop a bill called The MOTHERS Act, which will, if passed, ensure that Texas has even more drugged mothers who kill their children. According to the FDA and drug labels, antidepressants actually cause psychosis, hallucinations, homicidal ideation, and suicide. They are similar to LSD, PCP and methamphetamines in their effects in that they elevate serotonin and cause aggression. (Google “Serotonin Syndrome.”) The women used as examples for this bill are mostly women who also suffered psychosis because of antidepressants and other medications.

A subjective “diagnosis” (opinion) of a postpartum mood disorder is relatively meaningless in terms of legal fault or defenses other than one consideration, and that is that a “diagnosis” of a PMD almost always means the mother was placed on medications that have these horrific effects. However, as a mother who contemplated and hallucinated killing my son under the influence of Zoloft, and a woman who contemplated killing my mother, husband, cats and neighbors and then committing suicide after my dose was raised a second time, I do not support any reduction in sentencing of mothers who kill, other than exemption from the death penalty. Even though I know it was Zoloft and not PPD or some other “disorder” that caused my problems, I feel that if I had actually carried out my thoughts or urges, I would have deserved prison for a very, very long time.

It baffles me that anyone could support a bill to lighten sentences for killing an infant under the age of 12 months. I also object to the bill’s criteria for the defense, “judgment was impaired by childbirth or lactation.” I find this not only offensive as a five year veteran nursing mother and someone who has birthed two babies, but also nonsensical. If anything, childbirth and breastfeeding create the urge to protect your child, not the opposite.

In light of the mass drugging of new mothers to “prevent” PPD, Texas is going to have to deal with infanticide some way other than releasing prisoners to go get on even more drugs in the psychiatric hospital. This would not improve or “fix” the criminal or mental health systems, nor would it help women. It would put the public, especially babies, at even greater risk. This virtual license to kill must not be allowed.


Amy Philo

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