Through a new pilot program, approximately 150 lower income Black and Pacific Islander pregnant women in San Francisco will receive a $1,000 monthly stipend in an effort to curb high rates of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The reason: These two groups are most at risk for preterm births and infant and mother deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, according to San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Expecting Justice, during last week's launch of the pilot program called Abundant Birth Project.

They announced their plans to help lower income Black and Pacific Islander women for the duration of their pregnancy and at least the first six months after their babies are born.

Participants can use the funds as they wish, pediatrician and public health expert Dr. Zea Malawa with Expecting Justice told CNN. She said they will have the autonomy to decide which expenses are most necessary in their households and the health of their babies.

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