In a Feb. 14 e-mail, the Kansas Catholic Conference director explained that Gov. Brownback – who was sworn in on Jan. 10 – included $350,000 for the Stan Clark program in his budget proposal last month.
Schuttloffel called the move “a major turning point” for the crisis pregnancy effort, saying that instead “of having a governor who is fundamentally hostile to the program, we have one who is actually asking for it to be funded.”
The initiative is important, he said, “because the Pro-Life movement is about more than just placing restrictions on abortion.”
“It is fundamentally about helping the vulnerable, born and unborn. Helping pregnant women to choose life is critical to the Pro-Life project, which this program does,” he said. “This program is in essence a statement by the state that we want to support pregnant women, we want them to know that they do not have to face a challenging pregnancy alone, and that we want to help them choose life.”
The initiative was first proposed in the 1999 Kansas legislative session. It awards competitive-based grants to not-for-profit organizations to provide an array of social services to pregnant women and, if necessary, for up to one year after their child's birth. Among the services provided are counseling on alternatives to abortion and facilitation of adoption.
Schuttloffel added that the program is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Bureau of Family Health, Children & Families and that funding is dependent on annual appropriation by the Kansas Legislature.