For nearly two decades, women who get pregnant while on the CalWORKS program, continue to be denied more money after the baby's birth.
But, a Los Angeles Assembly member wants to repeal the Family Cap law, saying it's unfair to the mother and unborn child.
Assembly member Holly Mitchell introduced AB 271 last week. She says the controversial law leads to child poverty and needs to be repealed.
"I don't want to be on welfare myself. I want to work on my own and help my baby," said Belen Fregoso, who applied for the CalWORKS program. "Right now I don't have a job. I can't work. I'm pregnant. That's why I'm asking for help."
Fregoso is seven and a half months pregnant with her first child, about to become a single mother.
On Thursday, she applied for the CalWORKS program at the Department of Human Services.
"I want to find my own job and work on my own and help my baby. I don't want to depend on them."
But for now, she has to, and says sometimes the money isn't enough.
Under the current Family Cap law, if Fregoso were to get pregnant with a second child, she would be denied more money from the CalWORKS program.
"There's other services that they would be eligible for, such as WIC, which helps to supplement the food and nutrition for the baby and the mother," said Pam Holiwell with the Department of Human Services.
Last week, Assembly member Holly Mitchell introduced AB 271, which would repeal the Family Cap law.
"I think it's just horribly unfair that children are penalized and not given every opportunity we can give them to thrive and do well. And, the Family Cap is a policy I felt needed to be changed," said Mitchell.
Mitchell says repealing the law would help children living in poverty.
"My goal is to simply address the rate of poverty in California and give all children the recourses they need to be successful."
According to the Department of Human Services, there are currently 20,351 CalWORKS cases, serving 51,796 people, 81 percent of which are children.
Holiwell says if the law is repealed, cash grants would increase by approximately by $100.
AB 271 now heads to committee for approval.