KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortions in the United States, opening the door for states to ban the procedure.
In the aftermath of the announcement, residents across Kansas City spoke out with a range of emotions - from anger, to fear, to celebration.
KSHB 41 News Anchor Taylor Hemness spoke with Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, to learn about the conversation surrounding Roe v. Wade in his church community and how he is navigating the discussion as a faith leader.
Hamilton says while he personally holds an anti-abortion but "with a heavy heart" perspective, he has empathy for all affected by the Supreme Court's decision.
"I've always described myself as pro-life with a heavy heart, and the heavy heart comes from being with people in hard situations, and people who are hurting and people who were scared and terrified," he said. "You've got to recognize half the population is afraid or hurting in our world today."
Hamilton says he will be surveying his church to learn more about the perspectives represented in his congregation. He has surveyed those at Church of the Resurrection in the past, and says in those instances he saw a variety of complex viewpoints within the community.
"There's complexity here and in that complexity, there is a need to go 'Maybe I need to be caring more about people who are afraid right now and listening more to understand why somebody might hold a position different than my own on this,'" Hamilton said.
On Aug. 2, Kansas voters will decide on the anti-abortion Value Them Both amendment, which would give lawmakers the ability to enact an abortion ban following the Supreme Court's decision.
Hamilton says the Church of the Resurrection will hold a forum to discuss the subject of abortion and related issues prior to the vote. During the conversation, Hamilton says he will outline how the bible relates to the topic. There will also be female doctors and other women present to provide clarity on fetal development, discuss why people get abortions, what can be done to support those in poverty if abortions in Kansas are banned and more.
"Some worry about and are concerned about women who are in difficult situations and trying to figure out how to care for them," he said. "I think we have to listen, and part of the problem we have when it comes to complex issues, we don't listen very well, we get we get tuned into our perspective."
Hamilton also said he feels people tend to listen for voices that reinforce their beliefs, which causes polarization, and seeking out and understanding diverse perspectives can strengthen the community.
"Understand why somebody, a thoughtful person, might hold views different than your own and it'll actually enrich your own life by understanding that and help you have conversations that are meaningful, as opposed to hurtful for people in a different place," he said.