We're celebrating Giving Tuesday 2022 by supporting partners and organizations throughout the state that work on Black maternal health.
As of this year, Kentucky is facing the worst maternal health outcomes in the entire country – and this deadly trend is even worse for pregnant people of color, particularly Black people. Research points to implicit bias and racism as the root causes of these deadly trends.
Reproductive freedom does not just entail the right to abortion, but also the legal rights and equitable access to resources to make other reproductive healthcare and family planning decisions – from accessing contraception to seeking adoption to making the decision to remain pregnant and give birth.
Supporting Grassroots Work:
We believe the people closest to the issues have the best solutions, and that's why this Giving Tuesday we are supporting the people and organizations working on Black maternal health.
Black Birth Justice
Black Birth Justice advocates for maternal health rights and provides superior support postpartum. Their vision is to combat the maternal and infant mortality rate, and their focus is to protect the birthing people of the Black community with integrity, compassion, and boldness.
Granny's Birth Initiative
Granny's Birth Initiative is a nonprofit named after the Grand Black Granny midwives with hopes to carry on their legacy of caring for disenfranchised people. They assist all birthing people but emphasize support for Black/BIPOC people, incarcerated people, people facing homelessness and housing insecurity, people without parental support. They provide infant and maternal care items via the Maternity Pantry, Maternal Transportation as Doula Dash, and maternal health support as doulas, nutritionists, and lactation specialists.
Katima Smith-Willis is a 26-year-old local organizer and advocate in Frankfort. She bases her work around human rights, social injustice, and reproductive rights. Her work is carried out both individually and in partnership with other local organizers.
Mama to Mama
Mama to Mama is a 501(c)(3) organization in Louisville that provides full spectrum doula support to expecting parents. They believe that with proper perinatal support, there will be better birthing outcomes within the Black and Brown communities they serve.
Momology Maternal Wellness Club
Momology Maternal Wellness Club believes that no mother should be left behind. They hold space for women to ensure they do not forget about themselves on their motherhood journey. They are invested in serving, studying and supporting women in exploring their identity and figuring out what motherhood means to them. Along with creating a safe, therapeutic space, Momology Maternal Wellness Club believes advocacy and social justice are at the center of the work they do, so they partner and create platforms that assist in addressing maternal mental health, reproductive justice, and parenting rights.
Breaking Barriers Council:
The ACLU of Kentucky also created the Breaking Barriers Council, a group of experts and advocates from around Kentucky working to reduce racial disparities in maternal and infant health and improve outcomes for all Kentuckians. This coalition includes birth workers seeking reproductive justice in Louisville's West End, doulas in Appalachia, physicians, other advocacy organizations, and people who have personally experienced the challenges facing pregnant Kentuckians and their families. Together, we are learning from those most affected by these issues so we can work together with a unified strategy to:
- reduce racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality
- protect and expand access to abortion care
- expand pre-K and paid leave so no parent is forced to choose between a paycheck and caring for their child
- reduce instances of sexual assault and domestic violence
- connect survivors of violence to therapists, counselors, and other support programs
- ensure all families have a home in Kentucky, whether they have one parent, two moms, or no moms
- provide young people with age-appropriate, comprehensive, and inclusive education about sex, sexuality, relationships
- Increased information in reports about infant and maternal mortality so policymakers and advocates can continue to better understand the issue
- Increased access to doulas so pregnant people can have individualized and culturally specific education about pregnancy and childcare
- Anti-racism training for medical professionals