A pro-life pregnancy center was intentionally set on fire Monday in Peoria, Illinois, causing at least a quarter of a million dollars in damage, according to local fire authorities.
The Journal Star reports the Peoria Fire Department determined that the fire at the Women’s Care Center in Peoria was intentionally set early Monday morning.
Fire authorities estimated the damage at about $250,000. They said the state fire marshal and the Peoria Police Department also are involved in investigating the arson.
Christine Dennis, a founder and board member of the pregnancy center, said the fire also destroyed diapers, clothes and other supplies that they provide for free to mothers and babies.
“We have 500 women on our client roster whose babies are due in the coming months,” she told The Catholic Post, the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. “If called beyond prayer, we need financial assistance in rebuilding.”
Donations may be made online at the Women’s Care Center of Peoria website.
According to the Post, the pregnancy center set up a mobile facility this week so that its staff and volunteers can continue to serve clients in the community. Pro-lifers also are looking for a new location.
Connie McClure, director of client care at the pregnancy center, told the newspaper that the fire will not stop them from helping mothers and babies in Peoria.
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“We are just overwhelmed with the generosity of this community and the love and support they have expressed to the Women’s Care Center and the work we do,” McClure said. “That has really bolstered us up.”
Pro-lifers opened the Women’s Care Center in Peoria in 2013 next to an abortion facility; six years later, the abortion facility closed, according to the report.
The pro-life organization provides free counseling, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and other support to pregnant and parenting mothers.
Pregnancy resource centers provide vital education and support to millions of mothers and babies every year across the world. However, abortion activists and liberal news outlets often malign their work. Pregnancy centers also have become the targets of arson and vandalism in recent years.
Most recently, on April 16, the ProMujer pregnancy center in Bogota, Colombia was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Other recent crimes against pregnancy centers include:
North Carolina – Pregnancy Center Van Vandalized with Pro-Abortion Graffiti