The mayor of San Francisco has announced plans to help pregnant women with the financial difficulties of raising children, but only women that are a certain color.
Pregnant White, Asian, and Hispanic women who are struggling with finances are out of luck when it comes to the mayor’s plan, as her city’s new program is only for black and Pacific Islander women.
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On Monday, Mayor London Breed announced the city’s new Abundant Birth Project, which is a public-private partnership that will give $1,000 per month during a woman’s pregnancy and for the first six months after the baby is born. However, San Francisco is limiting these payments to 150 black and Pacific Islander women who city officials said have been on the wrong side of a “longstanding racial gap in birthing outcomes,” according to Yahoo News.
Breed said that the payments will be handed out to the women “with a goal of eventually providing a supplement for up to two years post-pregnancy.”
“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,” Breed said in a statement.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has said that black women have the highest rate of preterm birth, which is when a baby is born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Black women also have the highest infant mortality rate, with 10.8 deaths for every 1,000 births in 2018, a rate that is more than double the one for white women at 4.6.
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However, Breed made it clear that these health concerns were not the main reason that only black and Pacific Islander women were being given this financial boost from the city.
“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,” she said.
This piece was written by James Samson on October 3, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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