San Francisco to Provide $1,000/Month to Pregnant Black, Pacific Islander Women to Improve Health Outcomes
KPIX 5, September 14, 2020
The City of San Francisco will pay Black and Pacific Islander women $1,000 a month during their pregnancies and after birth in a pilot program to study how the monthly support helps achieve better maternal health and birthing outcomes.
The Abundant Birth Project will provide the monthly supplement to approximately 150 women in San Francisco for the duration of their pregnancy and the first six months of the baby’s life, with the goal of eventually providing the supplement for up to two years post-pregnancy, according to a press statement from Mayor London Breed.
The program is being launched in conjunction with Expecting Justice, a Black-led birth justice initiative lead by Dr. Zea Malawa at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and supported by the Hellman Foundation and the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative. Expecting Justice will study the resulting health impacts of the program, the first of its kind in the U.S.
According to Expecting Justice, a Black infant in San Francisco is almost twice as likely to be born prematurely compared to a White infant, while the preterm birth rate for Pacific Islanders in the city is over 10%, nearly three points higher than the national preterm birth rate for Asians and Pacific Islanders.
Black families also account for half of the maternal deaths and over 15% of infant deaths, despite representing only 4% of all births. Pacific Islander families face similar disparities, according to Expecting Justice.
In San Francisco, the median annual household income for Black and Pacific Islander families is close to $30,000 and $67,000 respectively, compared with over $104,000 citywide, according to the city.
The Abundant Birth Project is a collaboration between the Department of Public Health, the California Preterm Birth Initiative at UCSF, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office, the San Francisco Human Services Agency, and First 5 San Francisco.