There has been a great deal of controversy over whether or not the MOTHERS Act will require (or Mandate — another word) all women to get mental health screening. And a lot of Psych/Pharma groups are making a major issue out of the fact that the CURRENT language does not contain this language. Yet they conveniently fail to mention that the prior version of the MOTHERS Act S. 1375 did in fact say say the following (with no clear language stating women have a right to refuse screening, a violation of Informed Consent).

To ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.


    `(A) IN GENERAL- To the extent practicable and appropriate, the Secretary shall ensure that projects under subsection (a)(1) develop policies and procedures to ensure that education concerning postpartum conditions is provided to women in accordance with subparagraph (B), that training programs regarding such education are carried out at health facilities within the State, and that screening and referral is provided in accordance with subparagraph (C).

    `(C) SCREENING AND REFERRAL- A State that receives a grant or contract under subsection (a)(1) shall ensure that new mothers, during visits to a physician, certified nurse midwife, certified midwife, nurse, or licensed healthcare professional who is licensed or certified by the State, within the first year after the birth of their child, are offered screenings for postpartum conditions by using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), or other appropriate tests. If the results of such screening provide warning signs for postpartum conditions, the new mother shall be referred to an appropriate mental healthcare provider.

The bill did say ensure new mothers are screened. While it may not include the word "mandatory" the language clearly states that mothers will be screened.

Morever, the previous bill, S 1375 condonded the use of the using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). This was a screening method that was highly controversial and found to triple the number of women diagnosed with PPD, according to a study published in Obstecrics & Gynecology. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health stated that EPDS screening was unethical and should not be used. It was only due to the efforts of numerous organizations and groups that the current bill no longer A) requires women to be screened or B) promotes the use of the faulty and highly controversial EPDS screening method.

See attached white paper on the previous version of The MOTHERS Act, S 1376. PDF

It should also be noted that none of the "proponents of the bill" pointed out these flaws in the bill. They were content with it. Just as they are content with the current bill despite major flaws in it.

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