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  • Senator Becca Rausch

Breaking the Silence on Postpartum Depression

Earlier this month, a unanimous Senate passed a bipartisan bill to increase access to mental health services and reduce stigma about mental health and mental illnesses. It was a tough day, but a critically important one. It wasn’t tough because of the vote -- health care absolutely should be comprehensive health care that includes parity for behavioral health, and we all know it isn’t right now -- but rather it was tough because so many of us in the Senate raised real life experiences that are hard to talk about. But that’s the whole point. If we don’t talk about it, we don’t break the silence, and we don’t get any closer to breaking the stigma. In a speech on the Senate floor, I broke the silence on postpartum depression, also known as PPD, including the fact that PPD can happen after a miscarriage. Miscarriage in particular is a very real thing that impacts so many people trying to become parents, and almost no one talks about it. PPD and miscarriage care are part and parcel of reproductive justice, a framework that seeks to advance real autonomy for people to determine for themselves whether, when, and how to parent. I’ve been fighting for reproductive justice since long before I was elected to the Senate, and I’ve brought that advocacy to Beacon Hill with fervor. I’m proud of the successes already achieved, including advancing legislation to license certified professional midwives, require accessible diaper changing stations for caregivers of all genders, and streamlining the co-parent adoption process that disproportionately impacts same-sex couples. And I’m giving voice to issues of reproductive justice that have gone unheard or never previously been raised.

Please watch my floor speech. You might also check out the first-of-its-kind reproductive justice forum I hosted recently with the Metrowest Commission on the Status of Women. I’m so proud that our forum served as a model for a second forum in Framingham, held earlier this week. It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to be this kind of leader in the Legislature. As always, please follow along on Twitter and Facebook, and don’t hesitate to call our office at 617-722-1555 or stop by Room 218 in the State House. Onward,