U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush Says Andrea Yates' Overturned Murder Conviction Presents Opportunity To Treat Postpartum Depression As Medical Condition Rather Than Criminal Behavior Rep. Rush Plans To Reintroduce His Postpartum Depression Bill In Late January

Jan 7, 2005
Press Release

Chicago, IL. ---- Congressman Bobby L. Rush believes the recent overturn of Andrea Yates' murder conviction opens the door for law enforcement and the public to better understand and work toward treating postpartum depression as a medical condition rather than criminal behavior. 

A strong supporter of women's health issues such as postpartum depression, Rep. Rush introduced the bill, H.R. 846- Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act, last February, which provides for research on and services for individuals with postpartum depression and psychosis. The bill is named after a Chicago woman who jumped to her death in 2001.  Rep. Rush, who plans to reintroduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in late January, hopes the recent turn of events in Yates' case help erase the stigma associated with postpartum depression.   Many people, including men, don't even consider it a true illness. 

"It's time for us to recognize postpartum depression for what it is - a mental health condition that requires medical treatment, not jail time," says Rep. Rush. Although a women's issue, it impacts the entire family as countless mothers, wives, daughters and sisters suffer from this disease."

According to studies, 60-80% of women who have recently given birth experience symptoms of postpartum blues. Postpartum depression, which is more serious, affects up to 20% of new mothers, such as the late Melanie Blocker-Stokes.  With symptoms such as despondency, sadness, fatigue and anxiousness, this is an issue that impairs the joys of motherhood.