TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Nearly 60% of Kansans voted to keep abortion rights in the state. But, the question remains whether Republican politicians initially backing the amendment will keep pushing to change that.

Politicians in the state have stayed silent since last week’s vote. However, for the first time, in an interview with Kansas Capitol Bureau, Republican Candidate for Governor Derek Schmidt shared where he stands.

“I’m a pro-life Kansan, and Kansans had to show the direction forward. They did show that,” Schmidt said. “I think that discussion’s going to continue.”

In an interview before the abortion vote, Schmidt said he was “voting yes.” He also said a “top priority” would be reinstating laws that are “already on the books,” like a dismemberment abortion ban. The ban on the procedure, which is commonly used for abortions in the second trimester, was struck down in 2019.

If the constitutional amendment passed, it would have allowed Kansas lawmakers to pass new regulations on abortion.

“I think people, including myself, still have strongly held views on the issue,” Schmidt said, speaking with Kansas Capitol Bureau on Wednesday. “At the same time, the people have spoken, and they have, along with the courts, showed some of the boundaries of that discussion. And I think the discussion is going to continue.”

Some Republican leaders have doubled down on their stance after Kansas voters rejected the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Kansas U.S. Senator Roger Marshall released a statement shortly after the results of the Primary vote.

Words could never express the sadness and emotion myself and many Kansans are feeling after the Value Them Both amendment was not adopted. This is an enormous blow to efforts to protect the sanctity of life in Kansas. Too many times I’ve seen sadness and hurt, without an explanation why — this is one of those moments. While I don’t have an answer, I do know that God works all things for good for those who trust him. I want to thank everybody in the pro-life community who worked so hard to get this amendment passed. Tonight, we must still go to bed with faith and hope, for tomorrow we must be as dedicated to the sanctity of life, and to the fight to protect the lives of moms and unborn babies. Each of us will have to pray and look in our hearts to see what’s next. However, we must not rest as there is much work to be done to support moms who are contemplating abortion, and decide instead for life. Let us all reach out and give them all the help and hope we can. As an OBGYN who delivered more than 5,000 babies and fought each day of my more than 25 year career to protect moms and babies, I remain as dedicated as ever to doing everything in my power as a U.S. Senator to protect life at all costs.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan.

Schmidt will be facing off with the state’s democratic Governor Laura Kelly in the Kansas General Election on Nov. 8. Kelly, who declined a request for an interview Wednesday, posted a statement online following the Primary results, celebrating the victory for abortion advocates in the state.

“Kansans stood up for fundamental rights today. We rejected divisive legislation that jeopardized our economic future & put women’s health care access at risk. Together, we’ll continue to make incredible strides to make KS the best state in the nation to live freely & do business.”

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, D-Kan.