Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to $16.4 million in pHARMa dollars buys a bill)

pHARMa: Putting a price on the lives of American moms and babies

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

– Bob Dylan

Two days ago, The MOTHERS Act and several other dangerous psych programs passed the house after being stuck in the 2400 page Senate Health Care Bill. Today, President Obama, a former co-sponsor of The MOTHERS Act in the Senate, signed the bill into law.

Two years and two months ago Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Camille Milke and I, as heads of CHAADA, UNITE, COPES and ICFDA collaborated on a press release to be sent to the public, media and Congress regarding our opposition to The MOTHERS Act. We created a petition and within days we had hundreds of signatures from around the country. I spent the next two months calling people all day and sending emails, writing press releases and trying to update my website with the numerous radio shows where we would spread the word about the fight to save America’s mothers from an invasive government screening program.

Continue reading “Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to $16.4 million in pHARMa dollars buys a bill)”

The MOTHERS Act Passed and Almost Law, Plus Susan Stone’s False Statement About Melanie Stokes

*UPDATE – The word is that there will be no Conference Committee, but each chamber will have to have another up or down vote on the bill after the negotiations are made before it can be sent to the President. I am trying to get confirmation and will update again later.

I have been meaning to blog on this since it happened, but between being out of town over New Year’s and not having time to read a hundred bazillion page health care bill to find all the objectionable parts, looks like the Postpartum drug advocates beat me to it. As I have posted before, the bill is filled with much more mental health garbage than just The MOTHERS Act, but since Harry Reid introduced a brand new substitute bill right before Christmas and had it voted on in a matter of days, I didn’t want to post about anything that wasn’t totally verified. (Not that I believe everything that’s written on a PSI related website.) The Health Care bill has a number of highly contentious issues on which the House and Senate versions differ, so it would ordinarily need to pass through the Conference Committee in order to be sent to the President. (More on that later, but word is that there will be no Conference Committee but rather just some negotiations between key players in the House and Senate.) Now, I don’t think they are lying when they say that The MOTHERS Act passed via the Health Care Bill… but that won’t stop Susan Stone from making a ridiculous and untrue statement about something…

Susan Stone, past President of “Postpartum Support International,” has claimed in her blog on the passage of Harry Reid’s Christmas Eve Substitute Health Care Bill that Melanie Stokes died as a result of “untreated postpartum illness.”

Melanie, a beautiful, intelligent mother of a young child with every reason to live, leapt to her death as a result of untreated postpartum illness.

[emphasis mine]

Susan may not be good at retelling Melanie’s story accurately, although she is good at rewriting history.

Untreated Postpartum Illness? Oh really? From Carol Blocker’s Website “Melanie’s Battle:”

Melanie’s was hospitalized three times in seven weeks. She was given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications. She also underwent electroconvulsive therapy. Her family rallied around her with all their strength, but in the end, Melanie jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.

We have Stone and her buddies to thank for tireless advocacy of pharma-friendly legislation which would risk the lives of many vulnerable women in need and their unborn and newborn babies.

If you are interested in reading the bill’s specific language, you can go to this link and click on “Full Text of Bill as Passed”. The language referencing The MOTHERS Act initiatives can be found on pages 595-604, section 2952 “Support Education and Research for Postpartum Depression.”

Also from her website:

Also, the Mikulski Amendment, which includes SCREENING for postpartum depression also passed in another part of the healthcare reform bill. It was actually the FIRST Amendment included in healthcare reform. Finally, women and mothers are being heard.

This about sums up the passage of The MOTHERS Act via the Health Care Bill: this bill NEVER could have passed on its own thanks to the massive opposition against it, but it takes a Christmas Eve vote on a giant Health Care Bill which nobody has read (well at least until “Tuesday, January 5th, 2010 at 2:45 PM”) in order to get it through.

So much for Democracy.

The truth about psychiatric drugs & electroshock is summed up in these videos.

Melanie Stokes:


Matthew Schultz:

Andrea, Michael, Micayla, & Dylan Roberts:

The Mothers Act Disease Mongering Campaign – Part II

Part II of a four-part series on the MOTHERS Act disease mongering campaign is published today on Natural News.

The Mothers Act Disease Mongering Campaign – Part II

Monday, July 27, 2009 by: Evelyn Pringle, health freedom writer

(NaturalNews) The Mothers Act legislation specifically defines the term “postpartum conditions” as “postpartum depression” or “postpartum psychosis.” Use of the Act as an 8-year disease mongering campaign to further promote the new cottage industry of “reproductive psychiatry,” or “reproductive mental health,” comes from websites often run by people who will financially benefit from passage of the Act.

In 1992, the late journalist Lynn Payer wrote a book titled, “Disease Mongering,” and defined disease mongering as, “trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.”

Tactics identified in the book currently used in the Mothers Act campaign include: (1) Framing the issues in a particular way, (2) Taking a normal function and implying that there’s something wrong with it and it should be treated, (3) Defining as large a proportion of the population as possible as suffering from the ‘disease’, (4) Selective use of statistics to exaggerate the benefits of treatment, and (5) Getting the right spin doctors.

“Since disease is such a fluid and political concept, the providers can essentially create their own demand by broadening the definitions of diseases in such a way as to include the greatest number of people, and by spinning out new diseases,” Payer explained in the book.

Although the mandatory screening language was removed from the Mothers Act last year, due to strong opposition, the words and actions by the bill’s supporters demonstrate that the screening dragnet was always the main component of this disease mongering campaign. The language in the previous bill stated in part: “To ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services.”

The main sponsor of the Act in the House was Illinois Democratic Congressman, Bobby Rush. On March 30, 2009, the Postpartum Support International website posted the headline: “Congressman Rush passes The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act in the U.S. House of Representatives… now it’s on to the senate!!”

In a speech on the House floor that day, Rush made the following ridiculous disease mongering statement: “Madame Speaker, today, 60 to 80 percent of new mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression while the more serious condition, postpartum psychosis, affects up to 20 percent of women who have recently given birth.”

He then took it a step further and told members of Congress: “Experts in the field of women’s health like Susan Stone, Chair of the President’s Advisory Council of Postpartum Support International, says that these statistics do not include mothers whose babies are stillborn, who miscarry, or who are vulnerable to these devastating disorders which raises those at risk into the millions.”

“Every 50 seconds a new mother will begin struggling with the effects of mental illness,” he added.

“After eight long years,” Rush said, “today marks an important step forward in the journey for Congress to fully recognize postpartum depression as a national women’s health priority.”

“H. R. 20 will finally put significant money and attention into research, screening, treatment and education for mothers suffering from this disease,” he reported.

In a 2005 paper in the Psychiatric Bulletin titled, “Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry: who pays the piper?,” a perspective from the Critical Psychiatry Network, the authors, Joanna Moncrieff, Steve Hopker, and Philip Thomas, point out that psychiatry is particularly vulnerable to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry for a number of reasons.

“There is no objective test for external validation of psychiatric disorders,” they explain. “This means the boundaries of ‘normality’and disorder are easily manipulated to expand markets for drugs.”

“The adverse effects of drugs are downplayed, and alternative approaches to distress neglected,” they warn. “Patients and carers are led to believe that there are simple, drug-based solutions to their problems, leading to disillusion and disappointment when this turns out not to be so.”

Self-Promoted Experts

“Disease mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes precious resources, and causes iatrogenic harm,” Ray Moyniahan and David Henry warn in the April 11, 2006 paper in PLoS Med, titled, “The Fight against Disease Mongering,” in words that certainly apply to the Mothers Act campaign.

“As an initial step toward combating disease mongering at a health policy level,” the authors “urge decision makers to promote a renovation in the way diseases are defined.”

“Continuing to leave these definitions to panels of self-interested specialists riddled with professional and commercial conflicts of interest is no longer viable,” they warn.

Susan Stone, the “expert” Bobby Rush referred to, runs PerinatalPro, a blatant profiteering website used to advertise her treatment and training services at a facility in New Jersey, which tells readers:

“Welcome to Perinatal Pro, the website presence of Blue Skye Consulting, LLC, posted by women’s reproductive mental health expert Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, to help educate and inform women, families and health care providers about the often unexpected challenges of mood changes during pregnancy, the postpartum and throughout a woman’s reproductive life.”

Susan is not a psychiatrist nor a psychologist, she is a social worker and a past president of Postpartum Support International. Yet she maintains a private practice, “specializing in women’s reproductive mental health across the life cycle,” according to her bio.

The “Clinical Focus” of treatment advertised for Blue Skye with PerinatalPro includes: Perinatal Mood Disorders and Postpartum Depression; Perimenopause and menopause; Bereavement associated with child loss, stillbirth or miscarriage; Lifestyle changes and loss (divorce, remarriage, health issues); Depression associated with medical conditions; Disordered Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorder; Trauma/PTSD; and Affective Disorders including depression and anxiety.

“We work with your physician, psychiatrist or other healthcare provider to ensure a continuum of care,” the website says.

A more likely explanation for this collaboration would be that a social worker is not qualified to diagnose patients with mental disorders and a doctor would have to sign off on the diagnosis in order to bill public and private insurance programs for treatment. Susan would also need a doctor to prescribe drugs to her “patients.” In return, the doctor would profit from the fees paid for the brief office calls required to obtain the prescriptions.

The PerinatalPro site even has a link to schedule an appointment at Blue Skye, through an email address with Susan Stone’s name in the box. The joint is open for business on Monday through Friday beginning at 7 am and ending at 9 pm, “most evenings.”

Blue Skye “also provides licensed professionals who will come to your office, agency or Grand Rounds to facilitate groups or educational presentations on mental health topics of interest to your staff,” the website advertises. “In addition, we work with EAP’s to provide therapy on or off site to your clients.”

Susan posts a running list of groups that endorse the Mothers Act on her website and just about every Big Pharma funded pill pushing front group in the US is on it. The drug company dollar amounts funneled to these “non-profits” in recent years is broken down in my article, “Just Say No to the Mothers Act,” which can be found with a google search of the internet.

Amy Philo, the leader of “Unite For Life,” a movement of 53 groups against the Act, posted the estimated amount traceable to the main supporters on her website, based on the “Just Say No,” article, with a total of between $13,095,010 and $16,487,497. The wide estimate resulted from the fact that groups’ annual reports will often list the amounts given with wide margins.

For instance, the 2006 report for “Mental Health America,” shows the “non-profit” received over $1 million from Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Wyeth. Janssen and Pfizer gave between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and AstraZeneca and Forest Labs donated between $100,000 and $499,000. GlaxoSmithKline gave between $50,000 and $100,000.

Pfizer’s 2008 grant report shows a $20,000 grant to a Mental Health America group in Georgia to sponsor: “Project Healthy Moms: Education for Prevention/Treatment for Perinatal Depression Disorders.”

Big Pharma money is funneled to front groups to make sure the leaders of the “non-profits” are extremely well-paid. Mental Health America’s 2002 tax returns show the President, Michael Faenza, received compensation of $306,727, and another $35,275 to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation that year, for a 35 hour work week.

Lea Ann Browing-McNee, the Senior VP, received $122,007, and $14,353 in contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation for 35 hours a week. The VP, Charles Ingoglia, was paid $121,673, and $15,907 to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation, for a 35 hour week.

In a May 29, 2009, blog on PerinatalPro Susan wrote: “I humbly announce that I will be honored by the Mental Health Association in New Jersey at an event on June 10th for advocacy and clinical work related to national ppd initiatives”.

The “Association” Susan refers to is actually a “Mental Health America” group.

In the same her blog, Susan mentions how the Mothers Act might help fund “inpatient maternal mental health” programs all across the US.

“Just this morning,” she wrote, “I completed an interview with Parenting Magazine, which plans to feature an article about the nation’s first inpatient maternal mental health unit at UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, as well as focus on the federal legislation and how this bill might help fund other such programs across the country.”

The PerinatalPro site also provides links to buy Susan’s book, co-authored with Alexis E Menken, titled: “Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders Perspectives and Treatment Guide for the Health Care Practitioner,” listed for $54.00 on one site, with a product description including the following disease mongering comments:

“Statistics on the prevalence of perinatal mood disorders suggest that up to 20% of women experience diagnosable pregnancy related mood disorders.”

“Over the past three years, pregnancy related mood disorders have become the focus of health care advocates and legislators alike with subsequent reflection in nationwide media.”

“This increasing awareness has also resulted in recent legislative and healthcare initiatives to screen, assess, and treat such disorders,” the Amazon website states, using the “screen” word.

Karen Kleiman, another social worker transformed into a “medical expert,” runs a treatment facility called the “Postpartum Stress Center,” in Rosemont, Pennsylvania.

“The Postpartum Stress Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders,” Kleiman’s site says.

“Referrals to The Postpartum Stress Center come from Psychiatrists, OBGYNs, Family Practitioners, Pediatricians, RNs, other therapists, Depression After Delivery, Midwifery groups, Women Centers, Breastfeeding support groups, and direct referrals from the mother or family members,” the site states.

As a social worker, like Susan Stone, Kleiman would also need a doctor to diagnose women with mental disorders before she could bill public and private insurance programs to “treat” them. And, she would need a doctor to prescribe the drugs.

Kleiman wrote a raving review of Susan’s book on the Amazon website, and as luck would have it, three books listed as “Frequently Bought Together” on Amazon, include Susan’s and two by Kleiman. The deal price for purchasing all three together is $95.65.

Kleiman sells seven books on her website that she either wrote or contributed to. Some can even be purchased with a direct payment through a paypal account, to bypass Amazon.

Kleiman conducts a workshop at her Center every three months titled: “Advanced Practice Development Workshop: Launching your private practice,” and uses her internet blogs to recruit paying participants.

In this four-hour training session, future “private practice” owners learn in part: “Which marketing strategies are most effective for this population of clients and the medical community”.

They also learn: “How to connect with the community at large and maximize the need and desire for your services”.

Participants receive a copy of the Center’s Guide to “Enhancing your PPD Private Practice: A checklist for successful practice”, as well.

The class is part of a two-day deal with another 6-hour workshop titled, “Fundamentals of PPD,” for a total of 10 hours at a cost of $750. The website says they try to keep the classes small (6 to 10), so that would mean Kleiman’s take would be between $6,000 and $7,500, or between $24,000 and $30,000 for 40 hours work in four seminars a year teaching people how to “Launch” their own private practice.

At $100 a crack, Blue Skye Consulting seems like it offers a better deal for half-day workshops for professionals “to help develop a specialty in perinatal mood disorders,” including two titled: “Identifying Perinatal Mood Disorders,” and “Treating Perinatal Mood Disorders.”

But then Susan Stone’s course may not teach people how to “Launch” their own private practice.

In a June 4, 2007, blog on the Center’s webite, Kleiman reported a new study that found 79% of doctors were unlikely to formally screen for postpartum depression and noted that the co-author of the study “reminds us that in addition to the Edinburgh (EPDS) Screening tool (most commonly used), healthcare practitioners can check for signs of PPD by a simple 2-question tool, developed by Whooley et al.”

Further elaborating on this pop quiz, Kleiman wrote: “It has been shown that these two questions may be as effective as longer instruments,” and listed the questions as: (1) “Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt down, depressed, or hopeless?”, and (2) “Over the past 2 weeks, have you felt little interest or pleasure in doing things?”

“A positive response to either question indicates a positive screen and should be followed by an comprehensive history and assessment to confirm the diagnosis of depression,” she wrote.

Under a heading: “Doctors take note” she stated: “We should not need state legislation to mandate what we know to be medically significant. Patients should be screened for postpartum depression. It is easy. It take 5 minutes. It can save lives.”

She followed up with a heading: “Clinicians take note,” and wrote: “Healthcare practitioners need this information. Take the time to get this information to the doctors you work with or want to market to. Arm yourself with screening tools and literature to substantiate this practice.”

How to Practice Medicine Without a License

Kleiman is listed as a postpartum depression “expert” on another propaganda pumping internet site called StorkNet, complete with her own bio page, where she posts advice for pregnant and nursing mothers to access over the internet and provides a live link to her treatment center. In response to the question, “what are the best drugs for a breastfeeding mom with postpartum depression?”, Kleiman wrote in part:

“Keep in mind that this information is based on MY practice and will vary considerably from doctor to doctor.”

“The SSRI antidepressants (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) we are most comfortable using based on the research we have are: Zoloft (Sertraline) and Paxil (Paroxetine). Other antidepressants (tricyclics) that are used are Pamelor (Nortriptyline) and Desipramine (Norpramin), although it seems that the SSRIs are preferable these days because they have fewer side effects and are easily tolerated.”

In answering questions on “How Long to Take Medication,” Kleiman said to think of antidepressants as a “Serotonin vitamin,” and cited a recommendation from the American Psychiatric Association for staying on antidepressants for 6 to 9 months after the woman is feeling better.

“That’s not 6-9 months after you start taking the pill, it’s after you start feeling better!” she wrote. “The reason they recommend that you remain on it that long is because studies show there is a high risk of relapse if you get off the meds too early. And if you relapse, the symptoms are often harder to treat.”

“For that reason,” she said, “I tell my patients to try to think of this as a Serotonin vitamin; just take it, don’t think about “why” you’re taking it, you need it, it’s helping, and you’ll worry about getting off of it later.”

In 2008, Zoloft maker, Pfizer, donated more than $700,000 to the “non-profit” American Psychiatric Association.

Eli Lilly, the maker of Cymbalta, Prozac, and Symbyax, a drug that combines Zyprexa and Prozac, gave the APA 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, and roughly $450,000 more was given to the American Psychiatric Foundation for the APA fellowship program.

“Antidepressants are one of the most efficient and effective treatments for PPD,” Kleiman boldly tells women reading her StorkNet advice.

In another blog Kleiman wrote: “Women who experience depression during pregnancy are at an increased risk for PPD.”

“Current research supports the use of antidepressants immediately after delivery to reduce the likelihood of PPD.”

“Many women and their doctors choose this option,” Kleiman said, “to start their medication right after the baby is born, and I mean right in the delivery room!”

Doesn’t sound like any alternative therapies are considered, or tried, by this “expert” before dosing nursing infants with psych drugs.

On May 30, 2007, Kleiman ran the headline, “SSRIs and Pregnancy: Encouraging Study,” and wrote the following paragraph in a blog on the Postpartum Stress Center website:

“As presented at a poster session at the 2007 American Psychiatric Association (APA) conference, “APA: SSRIs in Pregnancy Not Associated With Cardiac or Pulmonary Problems”–there is a preliminary data which offers encouraging support for the use of SSRIs during pregnancy.”

“While a retrospective chart review isn’t the best methodology (it’s certainly the best bet for pregnancy),” Kleiman said, “this is very positive and evidence-based study with a large number of patients, supporting the safety of SSRIs in pregnancy.”

True Experts Weigh In

“If a woman has been informed that an SSRI will not harm the fetus, then she has been misinformed,” says Dr Grace Jackson, author of “Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide to Informed Consent,” and the new book, “Drug Induced Dementia: A Perfect Crime.”

“Research in non-human animal species and epidemiological human studies suggest that SSRIs pose direct and indirect risks to the embryo and fetus,” she reports, “especially to the formation of the brain, heart, and craniofacial skeleton.”

“Because SSRIs pass through the placenta,” she explains, “they may exert toxic effects directly by inhibiting or accelerating the process of apoptosis (programmed cell death).”

“Alternatively, SSRIs may exert toxic effects indirectly by disrupting maternal levels of serotonin and other hormones (including prolactin, thyroid hormone, and glucose), all of which participate in the development of the unborn child,” Dr Jackson advises.

“For humans,” she states, “the long-term risks of prenatal or neonatal exposure to SSRIs remain uncharacterized.”

“However,” she says, “it should concern medical professionals that research in rodents has repeatedly and consistently revealed a link between early exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the emergence of potentially long-lasting decrements in learning, memory, and emotion (e.g., abnormal responses to fear-producing stimuli, diminished capacity for nurturance and attachment, and depression).”

Julie Edgington took Paxil for a couple of weeks before she learned she was pregnant. Despite stopping the drug in the first trimester, Julie’s son Manie was born with “Transposition of the Great Arteries,” a condition where the aorta and pulmonary arteries in the heart are switched.

At 8-days-old, Manie had to undergo a 12-hour open heart surgery. Because of the surgery, he has a leaky heart valve and has had to undergo several more medical procedures. Manie also must take drugs for high blood pressure.

For a long time, Julie did not know Paxil caused Manie’s heart defect. “The guilt I feel will never go away even though it was not my fault,” she states.

She has this warning for pregnant women. “If you think you are depressed now wait until your life is flipped upside down when your baby is born with a horrible birth defect like Manie.”

Shameless Self Promotion

On April 28, 2008, Kleiman posted a blog announcing that her new book would be out in September 2008, which began with the comment: “Shameless self-promotion alert! ;)”.

She also pasted an excerpt from the book’s forward in the blog, written by Dr Shari Lusskin. “There is a treasure trove of ‘clinical pearls’ in this eminently readable book which even the most experienced clinician will be able to use right away,” Lusskin told potential buyers of the book.

A glowing review of Susan Stone’s book by Lusskin appears on the Amazon website as well.

Lusskin is an adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences at Mt Sinai School of Medicine. Her specialty is “Psychopharmacology,” according to her bio on the New York University Langone Medical Center website.

She is also an advisory council member of Postpartum Support International and has her own website.

The “Pregnancy-related Mood Disorders,” section of Lusskin’s site warns that: “Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Eating Disorders may also develop or worsen during pregnancy and postpartum. Women with Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Schizoaffective Disorder are particularly vulnerable during pregnancy and postpartum.”

“Medications (pharmacotherapy) and psychotherapy (using interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques) both play a role in the treatment of perinatal psychiatric disorders,” Lusskin advises on her site, with medications of course listed first.

A May 28, 2005 presentation brochure shows Lusskin is a paid speaker for the psychiatric drug makers, Glaxo, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Wyeth.

Lusskin’s site explains that: “Reproductive Psychiatry is a specialty that helps women deal with psychiatric conditions that develop in relation to specific points in their reproductive life cycle, such as their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and perimenopause.”

“Women with psychiatric disorders that develop in relation to their reproductive life cycle are an under-served population that can benefit from treatment which considers both psychiatric and gynecologic factors,” Lusskin’s site states.

“Dr. Lusskin is one of a small number of physicians in the United States who specialize in this relatively new field,” her website claims.

Victim of “Reproductive Psychiatry”

Bobby Fiddaman runs the popular website Seroxat Sufferers. Seroxat is sold as Paxil in the US. He recently forwarded a story sent to him by Kimberly S, a young mother who went to a doctor for problems with mood swings before her menstrual cycle, with permission to reveal the story.

In a nutshell, Kimberly was prescribed Paxil first, and ended up on Remeron, benzodiazapines, Ritalin, Zyprexa, Lithium and sleeping pills, before her 3-year nightmare that included two suicide attempts and two lengthily stays in mental institutions was over.

The suicide attempts occurred when she tried to go off Paxil, without any warning about the severe withdrawal syndrome that can lead people to become suicidal. After the second attempt, Kimberly was on life-support for 3 days and then transferred to a mental institution where nothing she said was taken seriously because of course by now she was considered too mentally ill to be believable. She explains this situation as follows:

“When you are suffering from any kind of mental illness you have no credibility. If you get angry you are mental. If you cry it’s because you are mental. If you complain it’s because you are mental and all of this will wind you up on more medication that creates a vicious cycle you have little chance of breaking free from.”

“A psychiatric diagnosis is a prison sentence at first which can easily become a death sentence,” she warns. “You might not die physically but your soul and who you are dies eventually if you don’t break free from it.”

Kimberly finally found a doctor who alerted her to the Paxil withdrawal syndrome and helped her taper off the drug. “Had he not I don’t know where I would be today,” she says. “Probably 7 feet under.”

However, Kimberly was on her own when she stopped taking the other drugs. “I was by myself and at home on the floor, in a pool of sweat and vomit, screaming at those fierce anxiety attacks and the debilitating memories of everything that had happened,” she recalls.

“There were many times I wanted to give up and go back on those drugs because it was hell getting off,” she says. “There were times I did not think I was strong enough and my poor kids had already endured enough.”

But Kimberly did not give up, and today she is living a drug free normal life with her children, back at work and healthy, she reports.

Coalition Grows To 53 Groups

Read our updates on our Coalition and some news about the other side.

Note: we will be using the BREATH blog (the official blog of and the UNITE website and Yahoo group for updates temporarily so that our fax campaign regarding The MOTHERS Act’s flawed and dangerous legislative language will remain at the top of this blog.

As of 6-5 The Coalition totals 53 groups, including the latest, Parent Guidance Center, AAPS,  The Mother Magazine, The Coalition for the Abolition of ElectroShock in Texas, ASPIRE, Beyond Meds and The Network Against Coercive Psychiatry.

I love the mission statement of AAPS:

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
“Omnia pro aegroto”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a non-partisan professional association of physicians in all types of practices and specialties across the country.

Since 1943, AAPS has been dedicated to the highest ethical standards of the Oath of Hippocrates and to preserving the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship and the practice of private medicine.

Our motto, “omnia pro aegroto” means “all for the patient.”

Read our “Principles of Medical Ethics”
Read our “Patients Bill of Rights”

Also, here are some interesting quotes from the Network Against Coercive Psychiatry:

The Network is emerging at an historical juncture that constitutes a time of potential danger as well as opportunity. The danger lies in the continued expansion of psychiatric power and of the merger of the “mental health” system with the American government.

The idea of “mental illness” is a misleading and degrading metaphor. “Psychiatric treatments” in mental hospitals are for the most part forms of physical and emotional abuse. Psychiatric “diagnoses” are demeaming labels without any scientific validity. The psychiatric Establishment is pushing dangerous drugs which they euphemistically call “medication.” Treatments in this century have ranged from revolving chairs to lobotomies to electrical assaults on the human brain to neurologically damaging drugs. There has been no revolution in the treatment of individuals who are psychiatrically labeled: it is an unbroken history of barbaric practices, justified by professionals as medical procedures designed to control patients’ ostensible mental diseases.

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 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

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)

Texas Considers PPD as Defense for Infanticide, Two Year Sentence

Hooray! The Texas legislature is actually considering lightening penalties for mothers killing babies. I guess the prisons are overcrowded with women who kill their infants and so they have to let them go sooner?

The excuse offered by the bill is that women can’t help it because they have had their judgment impaired by “childbirth or lactation.” Yes, all those breastfeeding moms out there are INSANE!!! I wonder why I haven’t killed my kids yet, I mean I was a breastfeeding mother for nearly 5 years straight between my two boys. All that lactating should’ve done me in by now… And childbirth, we all know women who had a baby MUST be insane. It’s just a matter of fact.

So let’s let the mom out in 2 years, and perhaps they can then send her to the psych ward. If she takes all her meds, perhaps they will let her out and she can have another baby and maybe kill that one too. Or maybe they will never let her out and this is just a way to get her into the psych hospital faster. Who knows. I wonder what could possess a person to believe that killing your baby is less of a bad idea than killing someone older. I guess because they are smaller it makes it more acceptable? Certainly if they pass The MOTHERS Act Texas will have more murdering mothers on their hands.

My understanding is that they met on the bill in committee Monday but there is still some time to contact the committee. As soon as I can get some numbers together I will update here.

Rep. Joseph Moody

House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence (C220) Clerk: Andrew Cates
Legislature: 81(R) – 2009 Phone: (512) 463-0768
Appointment Date: 2/12/2009  Room: EXT E2.112

Position Member
Chair: Rep. Pete Gallego – 512-463-0566; fax 512-236-9408
Vice Chair: Rep. Wayne Christian – 512-463-0556; fax 512-463-5896
Members: Rep. Allen Fletcher – 512-463-0661; fax – 512-463-4130
Rep. Terri Hodge – 512-463-0586; fax 512-436-8147
Rep. Carol Kent – 512-463-0454; fax – 512- 463-1121
Rep. Robert Miklos – 512-463-0464; fax 512-463-9295
Rep. Joseph E. Moody – 512-463-0728; fax 512-463-0397
Rep. Paula Pierson – 512-463-0562; fax 512-463-2053
Rep. Debbie Riddle  – 512- 463-0572, fax 512-463-1908
Rep. Allen Vaught – 512-463-0244; fax 512-463-9967
Rep. Hubert Vo – 512-463-0568; fax 512-463-0548

The bill’s sponsor: Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620; fax 512-463-0894

The bill basically says that if a woman kills her child within 12 months of birth and her judgment is impaired due to birth or lactation she gets a lesser penalty – a state jail felony.

By: Farrar

H.B. No. 3318

relating to creating an offense for infanticide.
SECTION 1. Section 19.01(b), Penal Code, is amended to read
as follows:
(b) Criminal homicide is murder, capital murder,
manslaughter, infanticide, or criminally negligent homicide.
SECTION 2. Chapter 19, Penal Code, is amended by adding
Section 19.08 to read as follows:
Sec. 19.08. INFANTICIDE. (a) A person commits an offense
if the person wilfully by an act or omission causes the death of a
child to whom the person gave birth within the 12-month period
preceding the child’s death and if, at the time of the act or
omission, the person’s judgment was impaired as a result of the
effects of giving birth or the effects of lactation following the
(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
SECTION 3. The change in law made by this Act applies only
to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.
An offense committed before the effective date of this Act is
covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the
former law is continued in effect for that purpose. For purposes of
this section, an offense was committed before the effective date of
this Act if any element of the offense was committed before that date.

This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

Texas Could Be First State to Have Infanticide Law

Bill would make postpartum disorder legal defense

Postpartum mental disorder could be used as a legal defense for women who kill their children under a bill introduced in the Legislature.

The bill was filed this month by Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, and it applies to women who commit the crime within a year of giving birth, The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday editions. If jurors find a mother guilty of murder, they could take testimony about postpartum issues into consideration during the trial’s punishment phase.

If jurors find that the woman’s judgment was impaired because of childbirth or lactation, they could judge her guilty of infanticide, a state jail felony that would carry a maximum punishment of two years in jail.

If lawmakers approve the measure, Texas would become the first state to have an infanticide law, said George Parnham, the Houston attorney who defended Andrea Yates.

“It’s something every civilized country has on its books,” said Parnham, who supports the legislation. “The only thing that will change public attitude is education about postpartum issues.”

McKinney attorney David Haynes, who defended Dena Schlosser, said Farrar’s bill “recognizes the great stress that some mothers are under when they suffer from postpartum depression.”

Yates drowned her five children — ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months — in June 2001 at her family’s home in Houston. She was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002.

An appeals court in 2005 overturned her conviction because of some erroneous testimony. Yates was found innocent by reason of insanity in July 2006 and sent to a state mental hospital.

Schlosser, who killed her 10-month-old daughter in 2004 by cutting off her arms with a kitchen knife, was recently released from the state mental hospital where she’d been sent after being found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Schlosser was released into outpatient treatment because her doctors believe she’s mentally stable, a Collin County prosecutor has said. She is required to see a psychiatrist once a week, take medication, be on a physician-approved birth control and not have any unsupervised contact with children.

Shannon Edmonds, legislative liaison for the Texas District & County Attorneys Association, said the legislative proposal would have to be thoroughly reviewed.

“Anytime something novel like this is proposed,” he said, “it needs to be fully vetted so that legislators can make informed decisions and be sure there are no unintended consequences.”

Postpartum depression is recognized as a legal defense in at least 29 nations, including Britain, which has had an infanticide law since 1922.

“These countries have accepted the reality of postpartum mood disorders,” said Susan Dowd Stone, chair of the President’s Advisory Council for Postpartum Support International, a California-based advocacy group.

Postpartum psychosis is a rare condition that generally affects women with extreme sensitivity to hormonal fluctuations and a history of mental illness, Stone said.

“We do not want women who abuse children to use this defense,” Stone said. “There are very clear guidelines for postpartum psychosis.”

Even though Stone believes that women who suffer from postpartum disorder need treatment, not imprisonment, she recognizes that “infanticide with no jail time would not fly. Our country is not ready for that.”

Sanders Turns Blind Eye To Victims, Sponsors Deadly MOTHERS Act

No amount of settlement money from GlaxoSmithKline, no apology, no ban on drugs and no prison terms for pharmaceutical employees could take away Manie’s heart defect, resurrect all the stillborn and miscarried babies who died because of psychotropic drugs, or turn back the clocks and hold Melanie Stokes back from the ledge of her twelfth-story hotel window. Nothing that anyone does could remove my memory of being homicidal toward my son and my family. But we must continue to hold accountable all those who find preventable deaths and ruined lives to be nothing worth worrying about. See the pdf version of this article for a telling graphic from Shari Lusskin on page 4 that was placed next to her conflicts of interest statement in a presentation on perinatal mood disorders and drugs and ECT for nursing and pregnant women.


Sanders Turns Blind Eye To Victims, Sponsoring Deadly MOTHERS Act
by Amy Philo,
214-705-0169, 817-793-8028

MEDIA ADVISORY –August 11, 2008 – The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, a bill to institute nationwide screening and “treatment” of expectant and new mothers at risk for depression, anxiety, and other “mental illness,” has been pushed by pharma-backed groups for the past several years with little success until recent months. Countless millions of dollars are already being spent each year marketing drugs to women of childbearing age, and an astounding one third of all pregnant women in the U.S. take psychotropic drugs according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. But pharmaceutical companies are apparently not happy with their current record-breaking profits. When advertising returns diminish and black box warnings for suicide threaten to scare off potential customers, government mandates can sure come in handy.

Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) is one man co-sponsoring The MOTHERS Act. (See his recent PAC contributions here. They include tens of thousands of dollars from various groups such as a PAC for “advancing psychology,” “New Jersey First,” and numerous other questionable donations that could alone explain his co-sponsorship of this bill.) An email sent by Senator Sanders’ office responding to opposition against the bill stated that The MOTHERS Act has nothing to do with medication. When asked for a comment, Sanders’ press secretary on behalf of the Senator guaranteed that no women would be forced to take psychiatric drugs as a result of the legislation, should it pass. 

Who will put their faith in Senator Sanders’ assessment of a bill that he co-sponsors quite possibly only because of who contributes to his reelection campaigns? Should the public ignore the fact that a diagnosis of depression, or being “at risk” for depression in the large majority of cases results in a prescription for antidepressants, which then lead to psychosis, homicidal and suicidal ideation and subsequent force drugging with more antidepressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, as well as electroshock? Or are we supposed to just relax and trust that if Bernard Sanders says so, passing The MOTHERS Act would not increase the disastrous practices of doctors and others in the mental “health” field? 

Rather than face the deception of pharmaceutical companies in promoting antidepressants and anti-psychotics as protective against suicide, the sponsors of The MOTHERS Act continue to turn a blind eye. In addition to suicide and homicide, documented deadly risks of antidepressants include preterm birth, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, cardiac birth defects, pulmonary hypertension, and fatal birth defects, among others. Because these dangers are undeniable, the financially conflicted proponents of The MOTHERS Act now make desperate attempts to distract from the central goal of the legislation and to appear unbiased and even holistic.

You decide, which is worse – the preemptive and arrogant denial of deaths, serious trauma and emotional suffering that this legislation would bring about for millions of families, or the promotion of these outcomes by some of the most outspoken medication advocates pushing for the bill? And how does Bernard Sanders justify his claim that more women will not be forced when compulsory drugging is already an everyday occurrence in this country? Why pass a bill to screen the nation’s mothers and get them into treatment at all, when women already have the freedom to seek “help?”

In 1988 Jenny Hatch was placed in a Michigan state mental institution for postpartum psychosis and drugged with Haldol. She stayed there for nine days until she could be transferred to a private hospital, where she says she fought back with the staff on the medication issue for two weeks. Ultimately the private hospital sent Jenny back to the state hospital and she fought medications for six more days, telling everyone that she was breastfeeding a baby and could not take their drugs. A judge then ordered “90 days additional incarceration in the hospital and forced meds.” She was sent back to a private hospital where they forced Lithium, Stelazine, and Prozac. When she became extremely suicidal on Prozac, the Stelazine was withdrawn and the Prozac was doubled. Ultimately after finally leaving the hospital, Jenny located a doctor who helped her wean off all medications over a six-month period. She also followed up by beginning a full body detoxification and then went on to have four more children, fortunately with zero psychiatric pills to follow. 

Over the past 18 years Jenny has advocated against forced drugging and her story has been publicized in various magazines and books. But for psychiatry, old habits die hard. In a recent blog entry, Jenny wrote about two women who had contacted her who had a history of psychosis and were told that if they ever had any more children, they would be ordered to take antipsychotic drugs for two full years following the births in order to “prevent” PPP. Similarly, New Jersey’s “MOTHERS Law,” passed in 2006, has already resulted in mothers being forcibly taken to the hospital by police simply for mentioning to their doctors they were depressed or calling a PPD hotline. Force is certainly nothing new in psychiatry, and in fact it has been central to the field for its entire history. It seems that the drug pushers care only about maintaining income at all costs. Those caught by psychiatry cannot be called patients at all but rather, victims.
In 2004 my firstborn, three-day-old son nearly died from choking while trying to vomit formula at Children’s Hospital. We had only arrived at the hospital a few minutes before he choked, and when they sent us home the next day, the trauma of nearly losing my son hit me hard in the form of a panic attack. I was told that having had a panic attack meant I would get severe PPD and should take drugs to “prevent” that from happening. I took Zoloft for only three days before hallucinating murdering Isaac when he was only nine days old. When I sought help at the hospital I was involuntarily incarcerated and forced to swallow more Zoloft despite my suspicions about the drug. They did let me go home eventually, when I faked being stable on the meds because I could not handle the forced separation from my baby and my family. For months I waited for the drug to work and even took higher and higher doses, which resulted in the homicidal obsessions progressing from frequent to constant and being focused on my mother, husband, cats and neighbors in addition to my baby. The higher the dose I took, the less I felt disturbed by these thoughts, and these constant ideas of homicide were followed by thoughts of suicide to protect my son from me. I stopped taking Zoloft after giving it five months to “start working,” and “miraculously” my intense obsession with murdering my son and my family and committing suicide disappeared within a few weeks of my last pill. I survived psychiatric treatment, but that is more than we can say for Melanie Stokes, who went through four hospitalizations and four series of drug cocktails as well as electroshock before her suicide.

Which brings us to the infamous “non-profit” group, Postpartum “Support” International, who claims to be the lead sponsor of The MOTHERS Act, while also maintaining that they have no interest in seeing pharmaceutical companies do well. This group has put countless women in danger by pushing drugs with absolutely no remorse and no mention of the risks, and it has dishonored Melanie Stokes by doing so much of this in her name. PSI also pushes government agencies and the private sector to advertise depression in print and on TV so that women will “admit” their depression and seek “help.” The group espouses the idea that the universal mental screening proposed by The MOTHERS Act is justifiable because too many women apparently do not realize they are depressed and need a screening to tell them so.

Despite being a “non-profit,” the organization consists of numerous mental health professionals who directly benefit from increased diagnosis and drugging of mothers. They also will be eligible to receive grants to carry out enforcement of the nationwide detection of women considered at risk of mental illness, should The MOTHERS Act pass, and they even have these enforcers ready and waiting to start their surveillance as soon as the bill becomes law (or as they hope it will). 

So we’re supposed to trade our freedom and our lives for this bill, and accept that women who do not feel depressed can trust a quiz to tell them that they are so depressed that they can’t live without “treatment?”

(Mental Illnesses: The Only ‘Diseases’ Spread Through Pop Quizzes)

Shari Lusskin M.D., who is a long-time member of the advisory board of Postpartum Support International (PSI) and a professor of “reproductive” psychiatry at NYU, discussed PTSD in new mothers for a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Rachel Zimmerman. The article promoted diagnoses of mental illness for women who go through traumatic childbirth, as well as prevention of “PTSD” via the use of drugs like Zoloft during pregnancy. With this new push to redefine aftershock from trauma as a disease, any woman having an emergency c-section, or any woman whose baby has a life-threatening complication, or any woman whose baby’s heart rate drops during labor, or any woman giving birth to a dead baby could be classified as mentally ill rather than deemed to be reacting normally to an emergency surgery or the death or threat of death to her own baby.

In this Wall Street Journal PTSD article Lusskin said that mothers who experience traumatic births should not jump to the conclusion that they will get PTSD. This statement is highly ironic considering her employment as a speaker for Wyeth, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline. In a separate presentation made to mental health “professionals” Lusskin promoted a range of psychotropic medications and even electroshock for use by pregnant and nursing mothers.

In the same article, Susan Stone, the immediate past president of PSI, discussed The MOTHERS Act, stating that “the law’s intent is to provide ‘effective’ care, whether it’s talk therapy, medications or some combination, to suffering mothers.”

I find this article absurd considering that with the push to prevent depression and PTSD by drugging women before they give birth, more babies will die or be born with life-threatening complications. More babies will suffer drops in heart rate as the drugs given to their mothers for labor interact with those given to them for depression or prevention of PTSD, causing more traumatic emergency c-sections and stillbirths. And more women who lose their babies as a result of preemptive drugging will become severely depressed and doctors will try to drug away their grief. So much for treating or preventing PTSD.

Considering the fact that PSI recently sponsored an event to push drugs on anxious women called “Beyond The Blues,” cosponsored by AstraZeneca, it is more apparent why The MOTHERS Act mentions medications and biological agents and not simply antidepressants. Because we wouldn’t want to rule out the government-sponsored drugging of women with drugs given for anxiety and panic attacks. 

Zimmerman’s timing in publishing this PTSD promo article is impeccable. The PTSD marketing all ties in quite neatly with the next big epidemic. Perhaps if antidepressants cannot be shown to help depression, drug companies can resort to marketing them for numbing the effects of PTSD, as the patients taking them become psychotic and no longer show any remorse, regret, or fear. In fact, the Pentagon just launched a $300 million project to study PTSD in the military. I can think of many ways that money could be better spent for our military than by administering drugs and waiting to see their effects. Yet many people want to do the same thing for all the nation’s mothers.

Julie Edgington, whose son Manie was born with Paxil-caused Transposition of the Great Arteries, wrote to Rachel Zimmerman of the Wall Street Journal in protest of the “perinatal PTSD” article. “My mission has become very difficult especially when reporters want to demean what has happened to my son by singing the praises of antidepressant use to help with postpartum depression. The MOTHERS Act is set up to screen women even during pregnancy for depression and the only listed treatment is biochemical. What does this mean? It means this world better get ready for many many more babies to be born like my son if this act is passed. Paxil is now a Class D drug yet GSK continues to tell women to take the drug if the benefits outweigh the risk. When the risk is serious and deadly birth defects why would they tell women to take this drug? The same reason they want to pass the MOTHERS Act. The same reason why they said nothing when they knew years before I became pregnant with my son that their drug caused heart defects. They are not scared to get away with murder.”

No amount of settlement money from GlaxoSmithKline, no apology, no ban on drugs and no prison terms for pharmaceutical employees could take away Manie’s heart defect, resurrect all the stillborn and miscarried babies who died because of psychotropic drugs, or turn back the clocks and hold Melanie Stokes back from the ledge of her twelfth-story hotel window. Nothing that anyone does could remove my memory of being homicidal toward my son and my family. But we must continue to hold accountable all those who find preventable deaths and ruined lives to be nothing worth worrying about.

Over the past several months I have been confronted numerous times by drug apologists slamming me for my opposition to The MOTHERS Act. In my replies I have used my story, the FDA suicide and birth defect warnings, the irony of the way this bill dishonors Melanie Stokes, and numerous other facts including studies documenting no benefit for antidepressants, only tremendous harm. On more than one occasion top members of PSI including Susan Stone and Birdie Meyer, the current President, persisted with claims that antidepressants are generally safe and effective. Stone also wrote that in many cases of claimed adverse effects such as a drug-induced suicide or murder, it was the “underlying disease” and not the drug that caused the tragedy, although she said that there may be a “small number” of people experiencing adverse events from the drugs.

Apparently the track record of this organization is not very good, considering that several of the people who contacted me admit to numerous cases of the women they worked with ultimately committing suicide or killing their children. Yet Stone refers to The MOTHERS Act as a “no brainer.” Clearly the only way that this bill could end anyone’s suffering would be via permanent relief for the depressed mother in the form of suicide or lethal injection in prison.

Given that PSI operates internationally, perhaps they would have noticed that many countries do not drug quite as many of their mothers as the U.S. does, and these countries have better outcomes. Unlike the U.S.A., the U.K. has actually banned the sale of antidepressants for children and teens due to the suicide risk. But in the U.S. PSI finds it acceptable to drug America’s unborn and newborn babies through their mothers’ bodies. 

Would this madness be tolerated in any normal society? Will the U.S. professionals’ affinity for drug-murder of families spread around the world like an infectious disease? In Sweden, where minimal monitoring of suicide victims’ health histories is conducted, 86% of all suicides have been committed by people taking psychotropic medications. 77% of these cases involved antidepressants and neuroleptics. Most patients were taking multiple medications at the time of death, due to the common practice of “treating” the dangerous effects of drugs by adding more.

I suppose it would be fitting if The MOTHERS Act could be totally rewritten and really would put a stop to the mistreatment of new mothers in a way that would honor the untimely drug and electroshock-induced death of Melanie Stokes. But instead, it will only perpetuate psychiatry’s death grip, expanding the magnitude of the drug-net by adding the force of a federal mandate to the industry’s current efforts to “screen” women for mental disorders – all without offering informed consent or alternatives to drugs. When the Seventeen Magazine-style pop psychology quizzes inevitably tell hormonal women that their feelings are signs of mental illness, are we supposed to believe that doctors will not prescribe drugs? Will the federal government engage in any sort of monitoring to determine how ineffective and deadly the program is and compare the percentage of women killing their children in the next five years to the previous five? Will black box warnings be given to women, or will doctors hand out samples after removing the drug labels as was done to me? And will Bernard Sanders and all of the people voting for this bill take responsibility for these deaths, this violence against our most vulnerable citizens, which risks the life of every new baby born in our country? 

Clearly the U.S. has already fallen below anyone’s lowest expectations for how severely our government has betrayed its own people and offered them up as human sacrifice for the sake of greed, yet we are facing the possibility of the passage of The MOTHERS Act, among other nightmare legislation, with the consequence of even more intrusion, suffering, and death.