Elephant Circle

Elephant Circle

MANA has established a strategic partnership with Elephant Circle with the goal of charting a course for a stronger and more diverse political base for physiologic birth and access to the midwifery model. This partnership deliberately combines a professional association (MANA) with a grassroots, consumer-based, non-profit (Elephant Circle) as the core of the Division fo Access and Equity.

Elephant Circle works on a broad range of issues related to birth and reproductive justice. They have found, in organizing and legislative work for maternity care, that consumers are most effectively mobilized by their midwives. Consumers often feel a strong loyalty and commitment to their midwives, and when that passion is channeled into advocacy efforts it can be very effective. Connecting consumers and midwives in coalition as policy-collaborators is a deliberate strategy to increase political power. Midwives don’t hold as much political power as medical providers in existing health systems for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is sheer numbers (less midwives, less consumers of midwifery care). The dominant model of political advocacy among healthcare providers is professional associations, and it is essential that midwives have healthy professional associations as a result. However, as minority providers, that advocacy model (professional associations) reinforces the power imbalance, keeping the "voice" for midwifery and physiologic birth small. Building an alliance between midwives and consumers adds sheer numbers, increases political strength, and moves the forum from a place where medical providers have an advantage (professional associations) to one where midwives have an advantage (consumer loyalty and passion).

Visit the Elephant Circle website!