Kansas has begun the implementation of its state-funded “Alternatives to Abortion” program, which will serve as a way to increase resources that promote life-affirming options for women and their babies. According to the Kansas Reflector, the state has awarded a $2 million contract to the Kansas Pregnancy Care Network (KPCN), which was founded on June 30, in order to start a state program to assist women facing unplanned pregnancies in giving birth.
The Kansas House and Senate had previously passed the Alternatives to Abortion bill, which was then vetoed by Governor Laura Kelly in April. The House and Senate overrode that veto. State Treasurer Steven Johnson, a former member of the Kansas House, was appointed to choose a group for a statewide public awareness program aimed at helping women avoid abortion and access services for pregnancy. Last month, a deal was signed that will allow the new organization to receive $50,000 as a cash advance for start-up money.
KPCN will be overseen by directors that include former state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, former U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Vicki Tiahrt (the wife of former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt) and Ron Kelsey, president of Planned Parenthood Exposed. Kelsey’s wife Donna is the executive director of Kansas City Pregnancy Clinic, which provides services and resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies.
“It is an honor to work with the state treasurer’s office to support and enhance the efforts of Kansas pregnancy resource centers to empower a woman to welcome her child into the world,” said Pilcher-Cook. “It will be crucial to provide transparency, while ensuring the essential care is provided for these vulnerable women and families.”
The new organization will be collaborating with the Texas Pregnancy Care Network.
“KPCN’s ability to draw on the experience of their affiliated organization in Texas will allow them to hit the ground running in implementing this program as the Legislature intended, serving women facing the difficulties of an unplanned pregnancy,” Johnson said.
The group will be required to submit a report on its activities to the state legislature and Johnson by June 30, 2024.