After arson, clinic 'starting from the beginning again'

Tuesday, May 11, 2021
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

fireman with fire in backgroundAn Illinois pro-life pregnancy clinic has its priorities in order, even after a deliberate and devastating incident last week.

Connie McClure heads the Women's Care Center in Peoria, Illinois and recently got a call that a motion detector at the clinic had reacted in the middle of the night. When she arrived, she found police and fire personnel were extinguishing a blaze that consumed the structure. It was ruled arson, and while the investigation continues, the Women's Care Center has sprung into action.

"We quickly went into motion on renting … and we had counselors by 9:00 in the morning already on the phone calling clients, offering reassurance," McClure relays.

The clinic serves 500 pregnant women, some of whom were initially counseled in the parking lot of the charred building. The fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes, but crews remained on scene for hours while investigators sifted through the damage. The blaze was contained to one large room, but heat and smoke damage occurred throughout the building.

"There's not a paper clip or a diaper that was salvageable," McClure shares about their facility now. "We are starting from the beginning again, so it's a little daunting, but our community and anybody that's heard about it has just been so amazing in their efforts and their desire to help us, and we are just really gratified."

Temporary space has been provided as the clinic continues to recover, and Peoria residents are helping out as donations pour in from other parts of the state and the nation. That, says McClure, has reassured to the staff and volunteers that their work will continue.

According to its website, the Women's Care Center "provides free, confidential counseling, support and education for pregnant women," including pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. The center does not do prenatal care, nor does it perform abortions. It is next door to the former location of Whole Women's Health, which did perform abortions and closed in 2019.

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