OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --The 48th annual Right to Life Convention was held in Overland Park over June 28-30.
It's the third time in the history of the event it was held in the metro. The gathering is the largest pro-life meeting in the nation. However, this year there was big news to talk about. Possible changes in Washington D.C. and what they could mean. Not only midterm elections coming up, but who will fill Justice Kennedy's Supreme Court seat.
The event was standing room only during opening remarks, with speakers stressing to attendees that this year's elections were critical for pro-life issues. Especially after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would be retiring at the end of this month.
"It was after we had gotten here that we found out there was a vacancy on the Supreme Court, so of course, our people are excited and energized about what that pertains for the future," President of The National Right to Life Committee Carol Tobias said.
Tobias said she hopes Roe v. Wade could be overturned in the near future because of the upcoming appointment.
"We are excited about the opportunity of putting justices on the court who are going to look at the original intent of the constitution and rule in that manner," Tobias said.
"We're not looking for someone to pass some "pro-life test." The test we want them to pass is that they're an originalist. Somebody that believes that the constitution should be applied as it was written in 1776," Mary Kay Culp, the executive director of Kansas for Life, said.
On the other side of Overland Park's Roe St. at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, the same seat was on their minds.
"It's not great news by any sense of the word, but in the states that we operate we've seen many attacks on a women's right to access abortion safely and legally, so for us this is not a tremendous change from the status quo," Rachel Sweet, the Regional Director of Public Policy & Organizing at Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, said.
Sweet said while the balance may be swayed at the capital, their supporters will not be deterred.
"I don't think we're willing to stand for our rights to be stripped away," Sweet said. "If we have to fight for those rights again, we're ready to do it."
While Tobias said they've been fighting for their rights since the Roe v. Wade decision.
"We are just very optimistic that this could be the change that we want for the future, but that is something we`ll just have to wait and see, and see how it plays out," Tobias said.
President Trump said he doesn't plan to ask nominees about Roe v. Wade in his interviews, however, during his campaign he pledged to appoint pro-life justices if he won the election.
If you would like to attend the Right to Life Convention while it is at The Overland Park Convention Center tickets will be sold at the door.