U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush Continues Fight For Postpartum Depression Legislation In Third Attempt, Rush Wants To Save Families And Remove Stigma Of Mental Illness
Chicago, IL. ---- Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) announced today that he and a growing network of his congressional colleagues, women, families and postpartum depression groups across the country will come together in support of reintroduction of his bill, H.R. 1940 - Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act on May 5, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. (EST), Washington D.C. in the Rayburn Building (Room 2218). Joining Congressman Rush will be Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ), women who have suffered from postpartum depression including First Lady Mary Jo Codey, wife of Acting New Jersey Governor Richard Codey. Other congressional representatives are scheduled to appear. May is National Mental Health Month as well as the month of celebration of Mother's Day.
Driven by the increased number of reported cases of women who have either harmed themselves or their children since the bill was first introduced in 2001, Congressman Rush expressed optimism this time around as more women speak out and his congressional colleagues step up with support.
"Postpartum depression affects up to 20% of all mothers and does not discriminate against race, class or income," said Rush. Theres no greater cause worth fighting for than preservation of families. By targeting women, my bill ensures the entire family unit is healthy and prosperous.
Last September, the Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Rush is a member, heard testimony from Carol Blocker, mother of Melanie Blocker Stokes, in support of his bill during the hearing, "Improving Women's Health: Understanding Depression After Pregnancy."
The bill currently has 50 Members of Congress as co-sponsors. The bill also has the support of Postpartum Support International and other support networks.