On May 6, on a bright shining day on Capitol Hill only days away from this Sunday's Mother's Day commemoration, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), U. S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mrs. Carol Blocker, Susan Dowd Stone, Chair of Postpartum Support International's President's Advisory Council, Katherine Stone, Postpartum Progress website, Sylvia Lasalandra, author of "A Daughter's Touch," and representatives from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Psychological Association assembled on the east front lawn of the U. S. Capitol to mark the historic passage of legislation aimed at helping to ensure that women who suffer from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis need never suffer alone, or in silence, again.
They came together to movingly remember the valiant but unsuccessful battle waged by first time mother Melanie Blocker Stokes whose life came to an end, at her own hand, only a few months after giving birth to her long hoped for little girl, Sommer Skyy.
In Melanie's honor and in honor of the thousands of women who suffer in silence with this treatable illness each year, these national leaders came together to mark the passage of The Melanie Blocker Stokes Mom's Opportunity to Access Health, Education, Research and Support for Postpartum Depression Act...or The MOTHERS Act. Thanks to the near 10-year effort by Congressman Rush, Melanie's mom, Mrs. Carol Blocker, leading women's organizations and activists throughout the United States and the tireless commitment of Senator Menendez, especially in the waning hours of the epic battle to secure health insurance reform legislation for all Americans, together, these leaders forever changed the status of women's health, for the better, in the United States.
In the words of Rep. Rush,
"This is a day that American women can celebrate. This is a day that as we stand on the eve of Mother's Day, the Congress of the United States and the American government can give our mothers a Mother's Day present that will keep on giving for generations to come.
"This is just the beginning of our embracing and our embarking upon an issue that affects women. Women's health issues should be a prime concern to this House of Representatives to this Senate, to this Congress as it should also be to the American people.
"As I reflect upon my own mother, who's passed on now, I'm doing this because I want to honor my mother on this Mother's Day. I know she's celebrating in Heaven but I just want to celebrate her because she was the mother of eight children and she didn't have this opportunity. I want to thank Carol Blocker for the tremendous work that she's done and everybody who's involved in this. And I'm just so proud of Senator Menendez and others who have worked tirelessly to make this the law of the land.
Here's a link to a YouTube video where you can witness the lasting Mother's Day gift these leaders, with the support of the Obama Aministration, have given to all women of childbearing age in the United States.
Press Conference Celebrating the Enactment of The MOTHERS Act