Yates gets NOW support as part of awareness initiative

HOUSTON: Andrea Yates, the Texas woman who allegedly drowned her

five children in a bathtub, has become the focal point of a campaign by

the National Organization for Women (NOW) to educate the public about

postpartum depression and draw attention to Yates' plight. She could

face the death penalty.



NOW's stance has outraged conservative talk show hosts and others who

believe that there is no defense for her crime, and question whether

postpartum depression is a valid illness.



Yates was diagnosed with the condition after the birth of her second

child, and has tried to commit suicide at least twice. Her lawyer argued

that she was in a state of postpartum psychosis when she killed her

children.



NOW organized the Andrea Yates Support Coalition to raise money for her

defense. NOW will also hold an education forum in the Houston area to

teach women about postpartum depression, and is developing a brochure to

distribute to doctors and health clinics. It will also speak at

healthcare conferences to encourage more research into the illness. The

Houston Chapter of NOW will hold a candlelight vigil on September 11, a

day before Yates' next court date.



NOW's cause has been featured in Newsweek, The Washington Post, AP,

Reuters, and on ABC.



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