Posted at: 03/03/2013 5:24 PM
Updated at: 03/03/2013 10:32 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
After two years of planning and donations, a new resource for pregnant women will be opening up its doors Monday in downtown Duluth. The Women's Care Center's goal is to educate women on their options and encourage them to choose life for their baby.
"Everything at a Women's Care Center is free, confidential and non-judgmental," Women's Care Center Director Jodi Stauber said. "That's everything we live by and stand on."
Stauber said the care center has many resources for women who are pregnant. They will offer pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling and parenting classes.
"When a woman comes in, she is going to know that we are here to take care of her," Stauber said.
While Stauber hopes women choose to give their baby life, she said her staff will love women no matter what.
"If she still chooses abortion for that, the last thing she will hear out of our mouths is, 'We are here for you, if you need us'," Stauber said.
The center's location is seen as controversial by some because it is kitty corner from the Women's Health Center, which is northern Minnesota's only abortion clinic.
"We felt that this is an anti-abortion agency and their location was meant to confuse women," Women's Health Center Executive Director Laurie Casey said.
Casey said there are many other vacant buildings and locations downtown where the Women's Care Center could have opened.
"They targeted this specific area, I believe, because we are located kitty corner from them," Casey said.
Stauber said that's not the case. She said they chose to open up downtown because that is where the need is.
"A lot of things lined up to put us in this particular spot," Stauber said.
Along with being located closely together, the two centers have very similar names.
"The Women's Care Center has been around for 28 years," Stauber said. "They've been called the Women's Care Center for 28 years, so we're not going to change our name."
"We've been the Women's Health Center since 1983, so of course we aren't going to change our name either," Casey said.
Casey was also concerned the new center would bring more picketing outside the Women's Health Center. Stauber said the Women's Care Center is not politically motivated and will not be taking part in any kind of protesting.