A midquel is a “work that is set within the timeframe of a previous work, rather than before or after it.” The Fellowship of the Bill series featured an increasingly beleaguered and bedraggled band of legislative advocates journeying toward Michigan licensure for Certified Professional Midwives. In this midquel, the Fellowship encounters a Mysterious Elixir: newly emerging educational standards for midwives, as produced by a consortium of seven national midwifery groups, known collectively as US-MERA (U.S. Midwifery, Education, Regulation, Association). Three disclaimers are necessary before we proceed.
- First: Whether certain educational standards should be included in CPM licensure legislation is inside baseball at its most extreme. We promise we will return to topics of more general interest in our next cartoon.
- Second: Although Michigan’s experience with US-MERA was less than ideal, much of the chaos was a result of interweaving timelines. The education standards were being developed at exactly the same time that Michigan’s bill was proceeding through the legislature. Neither process was exactly predictable, nor did communication flow dependably between parties. Last-minute demands, confusions of meaning, and repeated shifts in focus made measured, documented decision-making quite a challenge.
- Third: This cartoon arises solely from the fevered imagination of Mama’s Got a Plan. It is not to be taken as a statement of history or policy by anyone who matters.
As in our original Fellowship series, many liberties were taken with both Tolkien’s story and Michigan legislative history. No worries – just sit back and enjoy the ride.