The city of San Francisco has launched the Abundant Birth Project, which aims to curb the high rates of Black women deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth by giving them monthly stipends worth $1,000.

The project, which is a brainchild of Dr. Zea Malawa of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, targets to ease the stress which is considered as one of the biggest factors negatively affecting pregnant women’s health, particularly Black women.

The pilot program would reportedly provide $1,000 per month to about 150 low- and middle-income pregnant Black and Pacific Islander women throughout their pregnancy until at least 6 months after they have given birth over the next 2 years.

Dr. Zea Malawa of the San Francisco Department of Public Health

“We’re trying to address the racism directly and instead of trying to change Black women because there isn’t anything wrong with them. We’re trying to change the environment so it doesn’t have to be so stressful,” Malawa said in an interview. The project has so far accumulated over $1 million in philanthropic funds and $200,000 from the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

“For a very long time, Black mothers and other mothers of color have been in crisis, and this country has not done anything to support or help them from the manifestations of our racism,” Malawa said. “My goal is that, in the U.S, no matter your race, you can have a healthy pregnancy. That’s all I want. Unfortunately, that feels huge.” She added.