A guaranteed income program for Black pregnant women in San Francisco is set to expand to other counties in California.
According to Fox News, the Abundant Birth Project began in June 2021 providing pregnant women with $1000 monthly checks for a year in an effort to "reduce the racial birth disparities by easing economic stress."
Now, the San Francisco Department of Public Health has announced a $5 million grant in state funding that will go toward expanding the program to serve those in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties. The program is set to provide monthly payments for an additional 425 mothers and "other birthing parents" with funds from the California Department of Social Services, the city said.
"This guaranteed income program helps ease some of the financial burdens that all too often keep mothers from being able to prioritize their own health and ultimately impact the health of their babies and family," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "We hope the Abundant Birth Project serves as a model to address racial birth disparities throughout the region and state, and across the country."
The city first launched the Abundant Birth Project in collaboration with Expecting Justice, an organization that advocates for safe births for Black, Asian American, and Pacific Islander women.
Black women have more than double the chance to deliver preterm than their white counterparts and face the highest infant and maternal mortality rates due to wealth and income disparities, the city said.
"For so long, Black women have been excluded from the resources needed to have safe and healthy pregnancies. This funding will provide pregnant people with economic stability during this critical phase in their lives while allowing public health institutions to test a novel and promising public health intervention," said Dr. Zea Malawa, director of Expecting Justice.