Monday, May 18, 2009

Protect Moms, Babies and Freedom: Oppose S. 324

Dear Senator:

I am writing to you at the suggestion of the Natural Solutions Foundation, a private not for profit tax exempt organization, to urge you in the strongest possible terms to use your influence to defeat the so-called "Mother's Act", S 324 now before the HELP Committee. Pregnant women, their fetuses, new mothers and their nursing infants do NOT need dangerous drugs, the long term health effects of which are not known for infants.

The psychological and psychiatric literature which was not sponsored by drug interests is quite clear: support, not drugs, resolve Post Partum Depression. Community health services, including groups for new mothers, alleviate these distressing problems. Psychiatric drugs do not, despite the drug-company phony "science".

The health hazards, and the assault on health freedom, embodied in the proposed legislation to screen and drug pregnant and new mothers with powerful psychoactive drugs represent a significant hazard to babies, mothers and health freedom advocates. Mental health decisions should be a private, not a state, matter. Psychiatric drugs carry significant risks for adults and more risks for babies which have never been fully characterized but those which are known are extremely serious. There is, in fact, virtually no risk of death to mothers and babies when those mothers experience the "Post Partum Blues". But the risk of suicide, infanticide and other lethal outcomes for mothers and others on psychiatric medication is all too real. Susan Smith's tragic case and others like it should make that abundantly clear.

The "Mother's Act" is, in reality, a marketing ploy for the Pharmaceutical industry to mine a new market. While postpartum depression, a condition whose causes are unknown, does, in fact, occur in women around the time they give birth, it is generally a self-limited and temporary condition. The proposed screening and "treatment" of pregnant women (and their fetuses) and new mothers/nursing infants with psychiatric medication is fraught with dangers to the woman and the babies. The so called "Screening" proposed in this bill will simply mean that normal variations in emotional state, a predictable part of pregnancy and the immediate period after birth, will be turned into pathology and a profit center for the drug industry.

The drugs in question, however, have, until now, been cautioned for use only "with extreme caution in women of child bearing age" because of their dangers to the developing child. Drugs of this class carry warning urging doctors to AVOID their use in women of child bearing age because of the dangers they pose to the fetus and nursing child. These dangers include birth deformities and congenital malformations, obstetrical complications, hypotonia ("floppy baby syndrome"), long term behavioral changes in the infant, withdrawal symptoms at birth (which can be deadly to the child) and death. In addition, these drugs, which carry warning risks of suicidal and homicidal thoughts or ideation. They can cause children to be born with organs outside of their bodies when they are exposed during gestation. This requires immediate surgery for any possibility of survival.

The House of Representatives has made a tragic error in passing HR 20. The US Senate still has the opportunity to protect mothers and children, both born and unborn. Please do not vote for or sponsor this horrifying intrusion of government into intimately private matters which poses serious threats to mothers and babies for life long damage.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to do everything in your power to make sure that this dangerous drug marketing ploy does not capture the Federal Government's ability to create public health measures and enforce them. This is not a measure designed to promote health, but to promote drug profits at the expense of health.

Thank you for your strong support of the rights of mothers and babies to remain free of both the coercion and the toxic effects of these drugs at the hands of the Federal Government.


1 comment:

  1. Pregnant and New Moms Don't Need Drugging: Oppose S. 324

    Mothers and Babies are NOT Just Another Drug Market!

    S 324 is set to turn mothers and their babies into the next market despite the clear and well-known dangers of using psychiatric drugs on pregnant or nursing women and the fetuses and babies who receive those drugs through the mother's bodies.

    Adverse events (including suicide and homicide) in pregnant and new mothers are much higher than in the general populations so these women and their infants are at much greater risk for the dangers of the drugs which many people know about.

    Less well know is the fact that the literature, and the warnings on these drugs state that the dangers are not fully known for the fetus or baby, but those that are known make it mandatory to use these drugs in women of child-bearing age with extreme caution.

    Effects include life-long neurological damage and life-threatening physical conditions such as children being born with their internal organs external to their bodies. Survival in children so impacted is not at all assured.

    If these drugs actually worked, perhaps the risks would be worth it. However, the psychological and psychiatric literature which was not sponsored by drug interests is quite clear: support, not drugs, resolve Post Partum Depression. Families, friends, older women and community health services, including groups for new mothers, alleviate these distressing problems. Psychiatric drugs do not, despite the drug-company phony "science".

    Please tell your legislators to prevent any forced drugging of moms! Please tell them that new moms should not have to win the approval of a psychologist or social worker to take their babies home. The period immediately after birth and the few weeks following present an essential bonding period necessary for mental, physical and emotional health for both mother and child.

    This important issue should really never have come up at all and simply demonstrates the ruthless greed of the illness industry which preys on the weak - who could be weaker than a new mother and an unborn or newborn baby?

    Please take action by giving your Senator a loud and vigorous "NO!" to this horrific idea and then make sure you tell everyone you know to send this letter as well.