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Controversial California Program Sees Expansion To Pay Black ‘Pregnant People’

A recent program that grants a stipend of monthly payments to a number of black “pregnant people” is slated to expand to cover the entire state of California.

The Department of Public Health in San Francisco chose to work alongside a program out of the University of California San Francisco, Expecting Justice, this past summer in order to secure payments for “pregnant people” of up to $1,000 per month for a full year in an effort to reduce what they claim to be alleged racial health disparities stemming from childbirth. The program, which has been reported to have helped about 150 residents of the San Francisco area, is slated to expand out this coming year to encompass Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties, where recipients can expect monthly payments between $600 and $1,000.

“The Abundant Birth Project has proven to be successful in San Francisco and brings an innovative, equitable approach to addressing disproportionate health impacts largely among Black families, which is why I committed to investing $1.5 million over the next two years to grow the program in our City and neighboring counties,” explained London breed, the Mayor of San Francisco, in a recent press release. “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.”

The expansion of the program via a $5 million grant from the California Department of Social Services will allow benefits to assist another 425 more “pregnant people,” a designation utilized by Expecting Justice Director Zea Malawa. “For so long, Black women have been excluded from the resources needed to have safe and healthy pregnancies,” comment the visiting professor of the University of California San Francisco. “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.”

The Department of Public Health from San Francisco issued the claim that on average, black women are almost twice as lokely as their white counterparts to have a birth marked as preterm and experience “the highest infant and maternal mortality rates among any population” in part because of disparities in both income and overall wealth. The city chose to kick off another, quite similar, initiative which is slated to issue checks of $1,200 monthly for 18 months to a group of 55 transgender residents in an effort to fight “poverty our most impacted community members face.”

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