LEAWOOD, Kan. — The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, held an event about abortion and faith.
It was a packed house, which heard from both sides of the issue on abortion.
About 683 people attended wanting more information ahead of election day.
The panelists were all women, including a judge, medical professionals and a former state legislator. Church staff says they all attend the congregation.
Representatives from Planned Parenthood and Kansans For Life were also represented via five-minute video interviews.
The presentation lasted just under three hours.
“We’re hearing a lot of buzz,” Cathy Bien, with The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, said. “It’s all ages. It’s young families, it’s senior adults, it’s everyone. It’s something that effects all of us.”
Chris Waley, who attended the event, said that although the event may have been controversial, it was a good education opportunity for the community.
“It’s certainly bold for them to do this, but it’s helpful for the community,” Waley said.
Bien says the goal is to get people together for education and to not take sides.
“People ask, ‘Well what does the church say?’ And that’s a very complicated issue,” she said.
Pastor Adam Hamilton said the topic of abortion is one that often divides people, but hopes the town hall could change that.
“This is such a hard topic, Americans have been divided over for fifty years," Hamilton said.
Katy, who is a greeter at the church, said she hopes bringing different voices on the issue can help people find common ground.
“I hope to make people feel welcome to understand this is not a one-sided conversation, we have people here from every side of belief and we want to find common ground," she said.
The town hall had attendees of all ages.
Mona Whaley said her it was her 14-year-old's idea to attend the event.
“Our 14-year-old daughter is with us too, she was interested in hearing it," Whaley said. "It was her idea."
While education was abundant, instruction wasn’t.
“We know not everyone is going to agree, and that’s okay," Bien said.
Many people are turning out to vote.
The Johnson County clerk reported 23,000 more people registered to vote in this election compared to 2020.
The Kansas Secretary of State says 110,000 advance ballots have been returned.
In addition, 114,611 advance ballots have been mailed, 38,070 advance ballots returned and there have been 71,474 advance ballots in person.