© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Fund offers aid to pregnant people of color, new parents in Kentucky

The image shows a store aisle where the shelves are filled with different brands of diapers.
Creative Commons
A fund is offering free diapers and other supplies for eligible parents in four states.

An organization based in the South has relaunched a fund that supports people of color in Kentucky who are either pregnant or within one year postpartum.

The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective relaunched its Birth Justice Care Fund this month. The fund provides free doula and mental health services, as well as newborn supplies, to people in four states that restrict abortion by law.

Residents in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida can apply for assistance if they’re pregnant or if they gave birth to a child within the past year. Of those states, Kentucky’s abortion ban is the strictest.

“It's $450,000 that’s spread across four states with extreme abortion bans. So you can imagine that money goes pretty quickly,” said SisterSong Deputy Director Leah Jones, who’s originally from Louisville. “The fund just opened Friday [May 10], and the applications have poured in just from over the weekend.”

SisterSong originally created the Birth Justice Care Fund in 2020, and Jones said they periodically reopen it when new money becomes available. The organization also is accepting donations to support the fund.

Jones said the services they provide are especially necessary since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and allowed states to severely restrict or outlaw abortion.

“This year we knew we had to bring services back,” she said. “We knew post-Roe that maternal health was in danger due to these exacerbated abortion bans.”

This year, the Birth Justice Care Fund is providing a variety of free items that parents need to care for babies, such as diapers, bassinets, breast pumps and strollers.

It also is helping people pay for services from doulas, lactation specialists and maternal mental health therapists who’ve partnered with SisterSong. And those professionals are people of color themselves.

“We think it's very important for birthing people to be matched with people that look like them, that hold traditions that they hold, so that they can create birth plans and pregnancies and deliveries that they see fit to match their culture and traditions,” Jones told LPM News.

To request services, she said applicants must first select a care provider. SisterSong has an online directory of professionals it’s partnering with in each of the four states the fund serves.

Applicants can contact a professional they’d like to work with to ensure they’re a good match for their needs and are available to assist them.

Then, Jones said they can apply for support through the Birth Justice Care Fund. An application is available on SisterSong’s website. If a person’s application is approved, the fund will cover the cost of certain services they’ll receive from a selected provider.

People also can apply to receive baby supplies.

Jones said SisterSong’s fund prioritizes applicants who are Black, Indigenous and people of color. Through SisterSong’s work, they also aim to support people impacted by incarceration or domestic violence, LGBTQ+ people and immigrants and refugees.

“We are looking to center marginalized communities,” she said.

Morgan is LPM's health & environment reporter. Email Morgan at mwatkins@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.