San Francisco is testing a new program that will provide $1000 a month for 15 months to at-risk women during and after their pregnancies. The goal is to reduce premature births and maternal deaths that disproportionately affect some communities. The first two communities in the pilot are Pacific Islander and Black mothers.
Via Mayor London Breed‘s announcement:
The Abundant Birth Project is a simple, yet novel, approach to achieving better maternal health and birthing outcomes: provide pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women a monthly income supplement for the duration of their pregnancy and during the postpartum period as an economic and reproductive health intervention. Prematurity is a leading cause of infant mortality and has been linked to lifelong conditions, such as behavioral development issues, learning difficulties, and chronic disease. 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%). Furthermore, 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 designed under the collaborative change model, a process which directly involves all impacted and interested parties in decision-making. The Abundant Birth Project entered its design phase after receiving a Hellman Collaborative Change Initiative grant from the Hellman Foundation, and has since gone on to also receive an award of $1.1 million from Jack Dorsey’s #startsmall campaign, $200,000 from Genentech, and $200,000 from the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Additional funders include California Preterm Birth Initiative at UCSF, WKKF (Kellogg Foundation), San Francisco Health Plan, Tipping Point, Economic Security Project, Walter and Elise Haas, San Francisco Foundation, and Friedman Family Foundation.
Here’s a great overview of the project by Expecting Justice:
The concept of universal basic income has been slowly gaining acceptance. The idea is that if all people have their basic needs met, like housing and food, the quality of life for everyone will improve by reducing homelessness, property crimes, and strains on public services like healthcare. This is a nice explainer on universal basic income:
Image: YouTube / Expecting Justice