A majority of Catholics support a woman's right to choose, but dioceses are funding campaigns for state-level abortion bans across the country
BY TESSA STUART
SEPTEMBER 12, 2022
THERE WAS NO winner in last month’s vote on abortion rights in Kansas. Technically, nothing changed after voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure intended to strip abortion protections out of the state’s constitution. When the race was called on the evening of August 2, every Kansan retained the same set of rights they’d woken up with that morning. But there was a loser: the ballot initiative’s largest financial backer by a long shot, the Catholic Church, whose dioceses squandered millions of dollars on the failed effort.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City contributed $3.18 million, the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, $652,355; $175,000 came from the Diocese of Salina; tens of thousands more from smaller churches scattered around the state. The Kansas Catholic Conference threw in $275,000. Together, the donations amounted to well over half of the Value Them Both Association’s total haul — an “absolutely stunning” amount of money, says Jamie Manson, the president of the advocacy group Catholics for Choice.
Pro-choice forces fought misdirection and marshalled enormous turnout. Can their success be replicated?
By Peter Slevin
August 7, 2022
It was Election Night in a hotel ballroom in Overland Park, Kansas, and Ashley All didn’t know what to think. For months, she had been a public face in the fight to protect abortion rights from a ballot initiative that would change the state constitution and open the door to severe restrictions, or even a ban. Polling had been iffy, the opposition had been relentless, and she was afraid to trust the promising early returns. Nervous, she ducked into a conference room, where Mike Gaughan, a friend and colleague, was sitting at a computer. “He pointed out the impressive numbers in some of the big counties and also great numbers in some not-so-big counties in rural areas,” All told me. It was really happening. A broad coalition with a fresh message was beating the Kansas right-to-lifers at their own game.
After a stunning defeat in the Sunflower State, abortion foes make up excuses: Maybe they didn't go far enough!
By KATHRYN JOYCE
AUGUST 4, 2022
Amid the array of primary election results on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, one stood out in boldface type: Nearly 60% of voters in Kansas, typically a deep-red state that Donald Trump easily carried two years ago, rejected a ballot referendum that would have amended the state constitution to remove the right to abortion.
The amendment, artfully entitled "Value Them Both," represented the first ballot initiative on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June. Abortion opponents described it as a corrective to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling which found that the Kansas constitution protects abortion rights, while pro-choice groups warned it would swiftly allow Republican lawmakers to enact a total abortion ban.
‘Pulled-up yard signs, nasty notes, and catcalls as Kansas becomes the first state to vote on abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade.
By Carter Sherman
July 31, 2022
WICHITA, Kansas — On the eve of the first
state vote on abortion rights in the country since the fall of Roe v. Wade, the
lawn signs in this quiet neighborhood of nearly identical, brick-and-beige
homes hint at the strong feelings of people living inside.
“Vote No” signs suggest they will vote to preserve the Kansas state
constitution, which currently protects abortion rights. A “Value Them Both”
sign signals they’ll vote to amend the constitution, handing Republicans in the
state the power to ban abortion.