In the United States, racial disparities in birth outcomes continue to persist with income inequality being one of the key contributors. Structural interventions that reduce the racial-wealth gap are urgently needed and have the promise to narrow longstanding inequities. In a community-academic partnership, Expecting Justice is proposing to pilot the first pregnancy income supplement program in the US which we are calling the Abundant Birth Project (ABP). ABP will provide unconditional cash supplements to Black and Pacific Islander mothers as a strategy to reduce preterm birth and improve economic outcomes for our communities. ABP presents an opportunity to transform San Francisco into a city where all children have a healthy start at life. For more information about the Abundant Birth Project, click here.
Abundant Birth Project (ABP) FAQs
When will you begin enrolling participants?
We expect to begin enrolling participants in the summer of 2021.
How many participants will be part of the program?
We hope to enroll 150 Black and Pacific Islander pregnant women and birthing people over the course of two years.
Why does ABP focus on Black and Pacific Islander communities?
In San Francisco, a Black infant is almost twice as likely to be born prematurely compared to a White infant (13.8% versus 7.3%, 2012-2016), and Pacific Islander infants have the second highest preterm birth rate, at 10.4%. One aspect of structural racism that drives this inequity is the increasing income gap that disproportionately affects Black and Pacific Islander (PI) communities. These income disparities impact families’ abilities to afford basic needs, resulting in higher stress and poorer health outcomes. ABP will provide cash supplements to Black and PI mothers and birthing people as a strategy to reduce preterm birth and improve economic outcomes for these communities.
How do I know if I qualify for the Abundant Birth Project?
The program is open to:
Black and/or Pacific Islander pregnant people who are in their 1st or 2nd trimester of pregnancy, have a household income of less than $100K/year, and are San Francisco residents.
How do I apply for the Abundant Birth Project?
Check back here soon! In early summer of 2021 we will release our referral form that you can fill out to apply for the Abundant Birth Project. If you are a service provider wanting to refer a client please also check back for the referral form in early summer 2021.
How will eligible participants be selected for ABP?
Eligible applicants will be entered into an Abundance Drawing regularly and randomly selected to participate in ABP. If you are not selected but are still eligible for ABP, you will be automatically re-entered into the next drawings.
I am currently pregnant, where can I find resources?
Information about pregnancy, labor and birth support, postpartum care can be found here. Information is occasionally updated, be sure to check back for more information.
I am a provider or work for a community organization and want to get involved?
I do not live in San Francisco, but I am interested in applying. Do I qualify?
The Abundant Birth Project is a pilot program for San Francisco residents.
I am a new mom; do I qualify for the program?
The program will only enroll participants who are in their first or second trimester of pregnancy.
What does a no-strings attached gift mean?
It means we know Black and Pacific Islander parents have not always been given an equal opportunity to earn money in the country. It means we trust mamas (and other birthing parents) to know how best to take care of themselves and their growing families.
Participants don’t have to do anything to receive the income supplement. They can choose how best to spend this money to meet their needs. There are no lengthy forms, or classes to attend. There is no explanation needed as to why participants deserve or want this money.
The cash we provide is a gift from ABP which means you don’t need to do anything to earn this money and there are no strings attached. We do not require you to do anything after being selected to participate in the program to receive the gift.
How will we receive the money if selected?
Abundance Drawing participants will receive a monthly gift on a prepaid debit card.
How can we use the money if selected?
Participants can use the money to help their family in whatever ways they need to. We trust participants to know what is best for their family.
A note about research:
Historically, Black and other marginalized communities have experienced heinous conditions and unethical treatment as part of “research.” At ABP we acknowledge this and hold space for the pain, trauma, and distrust this has caused within our communities. We believe in transparency, informed consent and empowerment. The research component to our study is completely voluntary and does not affect participants’ eligibility for the abundance drawing or the income supplement.
Why are you all conducting research?
The research will allow us to test our theory that a no-string attached income supplement can be used as a strategy to reduce preterm birth and improve economic outcomes for the Black and PI communities of San Francisco impacted greatly by preterm birth. In addition, our research may lead to this pilot being picked up in other counties.
Is the research part mandatory?
Participants enrolled in the Abundant Birth Project will be asked to participate in research so we can understand what impact our program is having. We will ask them questions at several points throughout their pregnancy and request access to some of their medical records. Participants do not need to volunteer for the research to participate in the Abundant Birth Project, however, if participants decide to join in the research, the researchers will compensate them.
How can I learn more about the research aspect of the ABP project?