An Illinois pregnancy center was burned down in an arson attack in the early morning hours of May 3, causing damage estimated at $250,000 as the pro-life center scrambles to find a permanent location.
The Peoria Fire Department responded at the Peoria Women’s Care Center fire around 2:40 a.m. Monday and said most of the fire was contained in the front room, but the entire building was damaged.
Fire investigators believe the blaze was started intentionally but brought under control at 3 a.m. a local news the station reported. No one was injured in the fire.
The centre’s contents, including diapers and baby supplies, were destroyed by the fire and the center requires material assistance.
“If we are called beyond prayer, we need financial help for reconstruction,” the center’s founder and vice-chairman of its board, Christine Dennis, said in an interview with the newspaper. diocesan based in Peoria. The Catholic Post.
“And we have 500 women on our client list with babies due in the coming months.”
Women’s care center is a pro-life channel founded in 1984 and now has 33 centers in 12 states. Her goal is to help expectant mothers choose life for their babies, have healthy pregnancies and become independent.
The Peoria Women’s Care Center serves about 13 women a day, performs 1,000 ultrasounds a year and saved 596 babies from abortion last year, according to its website. The Peoria center was established in 2013.
Despite their losses in the fire, Peoria Women’s Care Center continues its mission to help pregnant women.
“Our doors are open. We just don’t have doors,” Connie McClure, director of client care at the burnt-out facility, told the Diocese of Peoria Official Gazette.
The center is looking for a temporary site to operate until the original location is rebuilt. Headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, has dispatched a mobile unit to serve patients in a nearby parking lot for the time being.
“It may look a little different, but we promised we’ll be there to support them,” McClure said.
Dennis said good will come from tragedy throughout the rebuilding process, according to The Catholic Post. She said they were “saddened” but not overwhelmed.
“We take care of our No. 1 women. And when we take care of them, everything else falls into place,” she said.
McClure said counselors were already speaking to some of the center’s 500 clients the morning of the fire to promise their care would continue as their deadlines approached.
According to JMOMFire investigators announced Monday that the cause of the fire was arson, and the investigation will be assisted by both the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Illinois Police Department. Peoria.
At the scene of the blaze, Peoria Fire Chief Tony Ardis told media that places like the Women’s Care Center were often targets of arson.
Pregnancy Resource Centers offer pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes, baby equipment, pregnancy-related items, employment assistance, housing maternity and referrals. In the past, other pro-life pregnancy centers have been attacked for their pro-life beliefs.
A pro-life women’s health center in Texas was vandalized in 2019 as words like “liars” and “fake clinic” were spray-painted on the side of the building.
A report declassified this year by the US Department of Homeland Security ranked pro-life and pro-abortion extremists on a list of domestic violent extremist groups “motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States “. who “pose a high threat to the homeland in 2021”.