WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Both sides of the abortion issue are sharing their reaction after Kansas voters rejected a constitutional amendment on abortion in Tuesday’s primary election.

Some of the groups that have released statements are the anti-abortion groups, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita and the Value Them Both Coalition, and the abortion-rights groups, Trust Women and Kansans for Constitutional Freedom.

Bishop Carl Kemme, Catholic Diocese of Wichita, expressed disappointment that the amendment failed and said the work against abortion should continue:

Though disappointed, we cannot allow this particular defeat to discourage us from continuing the important work of fostering the culture of life, a culture that respects all life, including the lives of the unborn, who are human beings made in the image and likeness of God and who deserve the God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No Amendment, however worthy it was, would have completely changed the culture of death, so at work in our times.  What will change the culture of death into a culture of life is the conversion of hearts, one heart at a time.

“So let us continue our important work, the work of the Gospel of Life; let us continue to work to make abortion an unthinkable choice; let us work to support and encourage all our crisis pregnancy centers across the state, which each day saves babies and value mothers;  let us continue to support adoption and foster care programs so that every child is wanted and cared for and let us continue to pray for the courage to witness to the Truth, Goodness, and Beauty that is God, the giver of all life, human and divine. Thank you. God bless you!”

Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme D.D., Bishop of Wichita

Trust Women was founded in 2009 with a mission to open clinics that provide abortion care in underserved communities. It released a statement saying Kansans made the correct decision, but it said that abortion-rights’ work must continue.

With this anti-abortion amendment defeated, the residents of Kansas have signalled their strong desire to reject the dangerous acceleration of anti-abortion legislation that has swept the country over the past year, culminating in the disastrous Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs Wade and Casey vs Planned Parenthood. They have rejected the notion that pregnant people are hostages to their pregnancy. They have rejected the notion that the most personal and important life decisions must be managed by distant lawmakers. They have chosen liberty and self-empowerment over extremist ideology, and we wholeheartedly congratulate Kansans on succeeding in holding back the tide of authoritarianism that is rushing across our region …

“We cannot be content with the status quo. The loss of Roe has brought with it an unprecedented and manufactured health care crisis that is not solved by this election, but will significantly impact the state of reproductive health care across our region for years to come. Our priority in the coming months and years will include continuing to provide high-quality abortion care for Kansans and pregnant people across the region, as well as organizing and legislative work to expand and restore meaningful access to local abortions for all Kansans.”

Trust Women

The constitutional amendment that voters rejected on Tuesday was called Value Them Both. The Value Them Both Coalition released a statement after the election saying that “Kansans endured an onslaught of misinformation from radical left organizations that spent millions of out-of-state dollars to spread lies about the Value Them Both Amendment.”

… While the outcome is not what we hoped, our movement and campaign have proven our resolve and commitment. We will not abandon women and babies …

“This outcome is a temporary setback, and our dedicated fight to value women and babies is far from over. As our state becomes an abortion destination, it will be even more important for Kansans to support our pregnancy resource centers, post-abortive ministries, and other organizations that provide supportive care to women facing unexpected pregnancies. We will be back.”

Value Them Both

Kansans for Constitutional Freedom actively worked to get Kansans to vote against the amendment. Rachel Sweet, the campaign manager, released a statement that said, “We countered millions of dollars in misinformation and deception about current abortion laws and regulation.”

From the moment lawmakers put this amendment on the primary ballot — we knew this would be an uphill battle …

“We helped our friends and neighbors understand this amendment would take away our constitutional rights and freedom to make private medical decisions for ourselves and our families …

“I’m amazed by what we accomplished together! This is truly a historic day for Kansas — and for America. We did something no one thought possible. We won this historic battle to protect women’s constitutional rights — and we BLOCKED this dangerous anti-abortion amendment.”

Rachel Sweet, campaign manager, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom