New York Advocacy Groups Decry Governor’s Veto Of Bill Aimed At Helping Depressed Mothers

Because of my specialty, I stay current on legislation that I believe will help early detection of perinatal depression. That’s why I was keen on a bill unanimously passed by the New York State Assembly and Senate this year.

The bill, 7667-B, which would have directed state officials to develop a maternal depression screening and referral plan, and to provide maternal depression education, had the support of the Postpartum Resource Center of New York, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Despite this impressive support, plus over 6,000 signatures on a petition, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the Maternal Depression bill. Disappointment came from all corners, with a spokesperson for the AAP saying; “Pediatricians see new moms and their babies more often than any other medical provider for a year after birth. They are the natural medical sites for Maternal Depression screening, and referral to treatment if required. We are puzzled and dismayed by the Governor’s decision.”

For his part, Gov. Cuomo’s office issued a statement saying that he supported the intent of the bill, but that the legislation contained several clinical and technical flaws and would not have accomplished its intended purpose.

Sorry Governor Cuomo, I have a reaction similar to the bill’s supporters. I am confused and concerned about why you would veto a bill that was going to help new mothers, as well as helping fathers, babies, and the whole family. Aren’t these the very people that elected you to office? How is this helping de-stigmatize maternal mental illness and aiding women to get the help that they need? Aren’t new mothers and families important? In my opinion, the veto is really a step in the wrong direction. Hopefully 2014 will become the year that we’ll start to speak openly about these issues and become part of the solution rather than the problem.

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~ by ppdsus on January 11, 2014.

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