Ontario’s Renfrew County may soon have a crisis pregnancy centre, thanks to the momentum created by the 15th annual Pembroke and Area Lutherans for Life conference last October. A statement of faith has been developed that all the major Christian denominations in the area were able to approve, and a 12-member steering committee is being set up to oversee the organization of the centre.

In an interview with The Interim, Pastor Deane E. Detlefsen, president of Pembroke and Area Lutherans for Life, said the idea for a local crisis pregnancy centre came to him through his acquaintance with Isabelle Slater, director of the Greater Moncton Crisis Pregnancy Centre in New Brunswick. The centre’s compassionate witness was such an inspiration, Pastor Detlefsen began to pray about the need for such a service in Pembroke.

The need for Christians to become involved in crisis pregnancy centres became one of the themes of the October Lutherans for Life conference in Pembroke. Efforts to establish the new centre have not been without resistance, however. In response to positive local media coverage, Deborah Kasdorff of the Renfrew County Committee for Abused Women denounced the project as failing “to provide helpful information to a woman who may be facing a crisis pregnancy now.” The alternative she proposed was more taxpayer-funded “quality abortion and contraception information.”