When Becky Carter, along with her husband Jim, moved to Juneau, Alaska, in 2016, she was struck by the total lack of pro-life resources for pregnant women in the city. There was, however, a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, and Juneau was heavy on pro-abortion activism, according to AlaskaWatchman.com. Carter, originally from Springfield, Missouri, set out to change that.
Although it is Alaska’s capital city, Juneau is remote, and can be reached only by plane or boat. Without a local pregnancy center, there have likely been countless women who felt abortion was their only option.
Six years earlier, there had been a pregnancy center in Juneau, but when it shut down, there was no support left for women who wanted to keep their babies. After holding a community meeting, Carter realized that there was not only a need for a pro-life pregnancy center, but a desire for one. And when community members want to open a pro-life pregnancy center, financial obstacles, like the ones Carter faced, can be overcome. For example, she was offered rent in a building right down the street from Planned Parenthood for a fraction of the going cost. Heartbeat International was able to provide her with a $30,000 grant, and people throughout Juneau — including churches, individuals, and businesses — threw their support behind Carter and the friend she partnered with.
In February, Juneau Pregnancy Resource Center opened its doors. The center offers 220 different classes for mothers and fathers, including on infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy, and parenting. Those classes can be taken in person, or via streaming services for women who are unable to get to the center. As they learn, parents can earn “mama money” credit to be spent on baby items. Every class and every service is completely free of charge.
“I think women have a lot of things going against them,” she told AlaskaWatchman. “Here in Juneau, some women just need the resources like the diapers and the wipes that we provide. […] If a woman chooses to keep her baby and parent her baby, a lot of times women just need education on what it means to be a parent. They need someone to come alongside them and help them be a better parent. The resources and the things that we do give them an advantage.”
Through Heartbeat International’s Life Launch program, the Juneau Pregnancy Resource Center can earn matching donations through January 2020 to help them get off to a solid start. In a city in which abortion probably seemed like the only option for some women facing unplanned pregnancies, Carter and her supporters have opened up a whole new world full of life.
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