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
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.