SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Mayor London Breed on Monday announced the launch of a pilot program that will provide targeted basic income to Black and Pacific Islander women during pregnancy and after giving birth.

The Abundant Birth Project, in partnership with Expecting Justice, will provide an unconditional monthly income supplement of $1,000 to approximately 150 Black and Pacific Islander women in San Francisco for the duration of their pregnancy, and for the first six months of their baby’s life.

The program’s goal is to eventually provide a supplement for up to two years post-pregnancy.

Mayor Breed called the program the first of its kind in the United States.

“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. “The Abundant Birth Project is rooted in racial justice and recognizes that Black and Pacific Islander mothers suffer disparate health impacts, in part because of the persistent wealth and income gap. Thanks to the work of the many partners involved, we are taking real action to end these disparities and are empowering mothers with the resources they need to have healthy pregnancies and births.”

In San Francisco, Black infants are almost twice as likely to be born prematurely compared with White infants (13.8% versus 7.3%, from 2012-2016) and Pacific Islander infants have the second-highest preterm birth rate (10.4%).

Additionally, Black families 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.

The project is a fully-funded public-private partnership, and will work with local prenatal care providers and the city’s network of pregnancy support services to identify and enroll eligible clients over the next two years.

The project will target low-income and middle-income pregnant people to help assist with the high cost of living in San Francisco.

“San Francisco has seen lasting health disparities in the Black and Pacific Islander communities, which we cannot allow to continue,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “The Abundant Birth Project addresses those disparities in a positive and active way, to directly benefit expecting mothers and their babies in those communities.”

The Abundant Birth Project is led by Expecting Justice and 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 the First 5 San Francisco.

To learn more about the program, click here.