FoMM began in 2006 as a consumer group created to help midwives promote their profession. In 2009, two years after a Board of Directors was formed, FoMM became active in the efforts of the Michigan Midwives Association (MMA) to obtain state licensure for Certified Professional Midwives. In 2013 FoMM became a member of the Coalition to License CPMs and currently works to support the Coalition by raising both funds and awareness and by acting as the face of the Coalition.
As partners in the Coalition to License CPMs, MMA and FoMM both contribute members to the Coalition’s executive committee. The Coalition expects the licensure bills it has supported in two previous sessions to be re-introduced in the Michigan Legislature’s 2015-16 session.
The Coalition enjoys many advantages:
- A long history of a strong midwifery tradition, including a pre-CPM state midwifery credential.
- A state governor with a declared “dashboard issue” of reducing infant mortality.
- A strong MMA and a dedicated Coalition executive committee.
- Increased interest in home birth, as evidenced by national statistics and rising client loads among midwives.
- Strong bill sponsors, particularly our House sponsor, himself born at home and the father of four children born at home.
- Bipartisan support among midwives, consumers and legislators; ours is one of very few legislative issues that find support among Michiganders with vastly diverse backgrounds and political and religious views.
In the long term the Coalition must secure funding, unify its supporters, attract more consumer volunteers, and broadcast clear and memorable messages about the benefits of licensure in the context of meeting state public health goals.
Board of directors
Deborah Fisch, j.d.
Deborah Fisch is an Ann Arbor research attorney whose interests include the role of malpractice liability in the determination of standard of care; the legal maternal-fetal relationship in pregnancy, labor and childbirth; demographic outcome disparities in childbirth and the criminalization of pregnancy; regulation of out-of-hospital birth attendants and protocols for their interaction with in-hospital providers; and evolving access to maternity care under the Affordable Care Act. She is affiliated with the Birth Rights Bar Association and the University of Michigan’s Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice Program. Her two children were born at home under the care of CPMs.
Schuyler recently returned from Budapest, where she earned a Masters in Public Policy from Central European University. The research she carried out for her Master’s Thesis, “Choice and Women’s Autonomy in Birth; Rhetoric in the United States and its effect on Public Policy,” and her work with Birth House Association in Hungary led her to FoMM. She now lives in Toledo, Ohio, where she works for Planned Parenthood. Schuyler is passionate about providing women unbiased information on all aspects of life, but especially reproductive health care. Schuyler loves visiting Michigan, especially the Detroit Institute of Art, any beach along Lake Michigan, and Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor.