California Announces Funding for Black Women After ‘Shine My Crown’ Report on Pregnant CNN Anchor Who Left LA Due to ‘Concerns in Healthcare’

by Xara Aziz

Just two weeks after Shine My Crown reported that former CNN anchor Isha Sesay was leaving Los Angeles and moving to New York due to “concerns in healthcare” as it relates to the morbid statistics about Black women and childbirth, the state of California has announced that a San Francisco guaranteed income program that provides financial support to expecting Black mothers will now expand to other counties throughout the state of California.

The Abundant Birth Project will provide $1,000 to 150 women over a one-year period. The program, which began in June last year, was created to “reduce the racial birth disparities by easing economic stress.”

The news comes on the heels of an announcement from San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, which said that it would grant $5 million in state funding to expand the program in several California counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles and Riverside. The program is expected to last for the next two to three years.

“This guaranteed income program helps ease some of the financial burdens that all too often keep mothers from being able to prioritize their own health and ultimately impact the health of their babies and family,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We hope the Abundant Birth Project serves as a model to address racial birth disparities throughout the region and state, and across the country.”

On December 5, Sesay announced on Instagram that she was leaving Los Angeles and moving to New York due to “concerns in healthcare.”

“Most of you know I’ve been in LA but I’m actually heading to New York and I’ll be there through the final trimester until my little one arrives,” she said. “The reasons for the move are complicated. They revolve around my concerns in healthcare and specifically Black women’s experiences here in the US with childbirth.”

San Francisco acknowledges that Black women are twice as likely to give birth prematurely that their White counterparts. Furthermore, reports show Black women are typically more fearful about where to give birth partly due to startling data revealing they are four times more likely to die during childbirth and 80% more likely to return to the emergency room months after giving birth. They are also 40% more likely to undergo undiagnosed postpartum illness than their White counterparts.

“For so long, Black women have been excluded from the resources needed to have safe and healthy pregnancies. This funding will provide pregnant people with economic stability during this critical phase in their lives while allowing public health institutions to test a novel and promising public health intervention,” said Dr. Zea Malawa, director of Expecting Justice.

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