A guaranteed income program that provides monthly checks to Black pregnant women in San Francisco will expand to other counties in California.
The Abundant Birth Project began in June 2021 to serve pregnant women with $1,000 monthly payments over 12 months to 150 people. The program is intended to "reduce the racial birth disparities by easing economic stress."
On Tuesday, San Francisco's Department of Public Health announced a $5 million grant in state funding to expand the program in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles and Riverside counties for the next two to three years.
It will serve another 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."
San Francisco launched the first Abundant Birth Project in partnership with Expecting Justice, which advocates for safe births for Black, Asian American and Pacific Islander women.
The city noted that Black women are twice as likely to have a preterm birth than White women and experience the highest infant and maternal mortality rates because of wealth and income disparities.
"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.
San Francisco recently launched another guaranteed income program for transgender residents. The program will provide low-income transgender residents with payments of up to $1,200 each month for up to 18 months.