The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act moves forward!


Visit the main website at 



We are getting closer! The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, H.R. 20 is scheduled for markup this Wednesday, March 4th, in the Energy & Commerce Committee. This version of the original bill (passed by nearly unanimous bipartisan support in October of 2007,) includes enhancements from U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s MOTHERS Act with regard to screening, and Congressman Rush’s call for increased funding for etiological research.

 Additionally, the bill maintains Congressman Pitt’s compromise language regarding a longitudinal study on depression as a result of voluntary or involuntary termination of a pregnancy. This is important because women whose babies are stillborn, who miscarry, or elect termination are also subjected to these devastating disorders and have not been represented in previously reported statistics or research.


The next step after successful markup would be a full House vote, followed by similar action in the U.S. Senate.


Thank you to Congressman Bobby L. Rush, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Richard Durbin for your unceasing efforts on behalf of America’s mothers!


Below is a list of Congressman who have been selected to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 111th Congress. We encourage you to contact them to encourage support and passage of this legislation!


Henry A. Waxman, CA, Chair


Joe Barton, TX, Ranking Member

John Dingell, MI, Chair Emeritus


Ralph Hall, TX

Edward Markey, MA


Fred Upton, MI

Rick Boucher, VA


Cliff Stearns, FL

Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ


Nathan Deal, GA

Bart Gordon, TN


Ed Whitfield, KY

Bobby Rush, IL


John Shimkus, IL

Anna Eshoo, CA


John Shadegg, AZ

Bart Stupak, MI


Roy Blunt, MO

Eliot Engel, NY


Steve Buyer, IN

Gene Green, TX


George Radanovich, CA

Diana DeGette, CO


Joseph Pitts, PA

Lois Capps, CA


Mary Bono Mack, CA

Michael Doyle, PA


Greg Walden, OR

Jane Harman, CA


Lee Terry, NE

Janice Schakowsky, IL


Mike Rogers, MI

Charles Gonzalez, TX


Sue Wilkins Myrick, NC

Jay Inslee, WA


John Sullivan, OK

Tammy Baldwin, WI


Tim Murphy, PA

Mike Ross, AR


Michael Burgess, TX

Anthony Weiner, NY


Marsha Blackburn, TN

Jim Matheson, UT


Phil Gingrey, GA

G.K. Butterfield, NC


Steve Scalise, LA

Charlie Melancon, LA



John Barrow, GA



Baron Hill, IN



Doris Matsui, CA



Donna Christensen, VI



Kathy Castor, FL



John Sarbanes, MD



Christopher Murphy, CT



Zachary Space, OH



Jerry McNerney, CA



Betty Sutton, OH



Bruce Braley, IA



Peter Welch, VT





Summary of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act (S. 324/H.R.20)


The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, sponsored by Senators Menendez and Representative Rush, will help provide support services to women suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis and will also help educate mothers and their families about these conditions.  In addition, it will support research into the causes, diagnoses and treatments for postpartum depression and psychosis.

“Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom’s Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research, and Support for Postpartum Depression Act” or the “Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act”


TITLE I- Research


·        Encourages Health and Human Services (HHS) to coordinate and continue research to expand the understanding of the causes of, and find treatments for, postpartum conditions.  Also, encourages a National Public Awareness Campaign, to be administered by HHS, to increase awareness and knowledge of postpartum depression and psychosis. 


·        Includes a Sense of Congress that the Director of the National Institutes of Health may conduct a nationally representative longitudinal study of the relative mental health consequences for women of resolving a pregnancy (intended or unintended) in various ways, including carrying the pregnancy to term and parenting the child, carrying the pregnancy to term and placing the child for adoption, miscarriage, and having an abortion.  This study may assess the incidence, timing, magnitude, and duration of the immediate and long-term mental health consequences (positive and negative) of these pregnancy outcomes.


TITLE II- Delivery of Services


·        Encourages HHS to make grants available for projects for the establishment, operation, and coordination of systems for the delivery of essential services to individuals with postpartum depression. 


o       (Entities):  Makes grants available to public or nonprofit private entity, which may include a State or local government, a public-private partnership, a recipient of a grant under the Healthy Start program, a public or nonprofit private hospital, community-based organization, hospice, ambulatory care facility, community health center, migrant health center, public housing primary care center, or homeless health center, or any other appropriate public or nonprofit private entity.


o       (Activities): Eligible activities include delivering or enhancing outpatient, inpatient and home-based health and support services, including case management and comprehensive treatment services for individuals with or at risk for postpartum conditions.  Activities may also include providing education about postpartum conditions to new mothers and their families, including symptoms, methods of coping with the illness, and treatment resources, in order to promote earlier diagnosis and treatment.



TITLE III- General Provisions


·        (Funding):  Authorizes $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and such sums as may be necessary for fiscal years 2010 and 2011.


·        (HHS Report):  Requires the Secretary of HHS to conduct a study on the benefits of screening for postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. 


·        (Limitation): The Secretary may not utilize amounts made available under this Act to carry out activities or programs that are duplicative of activities or programs that are currently being carried out through the Dept of HHS.






American College of Nurse Midwives

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

American Psychological Association

American Psychiatric Association

Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs

Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses

Children’s Defense Fund

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Family Mental Health Foundation


Kristin Brooks Hope Center

March of Dimes

Melanie Blocker Stokes Foundation

Mental Health America

NARAL, Pro-Choice America

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

National Partnership for Women & Families

National Women’s Law Center

OWL- The Voice of Midlife and Older Women

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Postpartum Support International

Suicide Prevention Action Network USA

This entry was posted in Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, post abortion depression, postpartum depression, postpartum depression commentary, Susan Dowd Stone, U. S. Senator Robert Menendez, Uncategorized, women's health issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act moves forward!

  1. Pingback: What’s Up Wednesday? Post Partum Depression Legislation « The Queen Mommy’s Cafe

Leave a Reply