TOPEKA, Kan. (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of Kansas told Gov. Mark Parkinson that his administration's decision to end state funding in 2010 for a program that helps women facing crisis pregnancies "will have grave repercussions for some of the most vulnerable among us." "We implore you to consider the true costs of ending this important program," they wrote in a July 31 letter to Parkinson. "The state cannot afford to turn its back on women seeking help in choosing life."
Called the Senator Stan Clark Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative, the program "provides women facing crisis pregnancies with a wide array of support services, including counseling on alternatives to abortion," the bishops said in their letter. "Its absence will send a disturbing message about our priorities as a state," they said, "especially when taken in concert with your recent veto of a budget amendment restricting public funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider."
The Legislature had approved more than $345,000 to fund it for 2010, a smaller amount than the bishops had hoped for, they said. However, until the program was cut, the bishops said they were confident that even that amount would help the women who needed it.