SAN FRANCISCO—On September 14, Mayor London N. Breed announced a new project, Abundant Birth Project, which provides 150 Black and Pacific Islander women an unconditional monthly stipend of about $1,000 during their pregnancy period and the first 6 months of their baby’s life. 

The Abundant Birth Project (ABP) was launched by the Expecting Justice non-profit organization, followed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the Hellman Foundation and UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative’s support, noted by the city government. The program is the first of its kind in the United States. 

According to Solaire Spellen who spoke in the mini-documentary of The Abundant Birth Project on Youtube, “the program has put out interventions and solutions to focus on getting rid of preterm birthright but also centered around racial equality and anti-racism paretic while they are providing services.” 

The city’s government stated that prematurity is a major cause of infant mortality, which may affect lifelong conditions, including behavioral development issues, learning difficulties and chronic diseases. A statistic from 2012-2016 shows that Black infants are almost twice as likely to be born prematurely than White infants (13.8% versus 7.3%), and Pacific Islander infants have the second-highest preterm birth rate (10.4%). 

“Providing guaranteed income support to mothers during pregnancy is an innovative and equitable approach that will ease some of the financial stress that all too often keeps women from being able to put their health first,” said Mayor Breed.