FSJ pregnancy centre corrects recent misinformation about stance on abortion

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A Fort St. John unexpected pregnancy clinic says they’re committed to providing unbiased information about abortion even though they’ve been  labeled  as being against the practice.

North Peace Pregnancy Care Centre Executive Director Linda Unrau says although they don't provide abortions she is committed to presenting all options equally to clients. According to Unrau, anyone who says her charity does not advocate for abortion is incorrect. That includes a report from another Fort St. John media outlet this week.

“Were not here for politics,” said Unrau who added “We are here for that woman.”

Following the overturning of Roe W. Wade in the United States, there's been confusion and concern about accessing abortion services in our country. When word of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling leaked to the media back in May, CJDC TV spoke with Amber Zanon about her abortion in 2015.

“It was the absolute fear and panic of thinking I was so alone and completely to fend for myself within a system I thought was designed to help me,” Zanon said.

The Terrace, B.C. woman says she wasn't given any information or support from her doctor which left Zanon to fend for herself.

“I had to pay a Christmas airfare to get to Vancouver, I had to pay for a hotel stay in Vancouver, I had to get myself to the appointment, by myself,” she said.

Northern Health says physicians decide if and what type of abortion services they’ll provide.

However, it could be difficult to access care amid a family doctor shortage.

The health authority says there is a virtual Pregnancy Options Line available for referral to a doctor in the patient’s area.

Meanwhile, Unrau says her centre is a safe space to make a decision about terminating a pregnancy in the Peace Region. She says especially when those experiencing an unexpected pregnancy could be overwhelmed by opinions of family and friends.

“You can breath and you can just tell your story if you want to tell your story. We listen unbiasly without saying oh you should do this oh you should do that. Nobody should ‘should’ anything,” Unrau says.

Still, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) says the North Peace Pregnancy Care Centre is not pro choice and against abortion. CJDC TV reached out to Joyce Arthur Executive Director ARCC about why the Fort St. John charity is on their list.

In an email response Arthur did not answer our question, rather she said “I’m overwhelmed with media requests and just can’t do them all.”

Unrau believes the North Peace Pregnancy Care Centre is on list because they’re faith based.

“When somebody hears faith based they think oh my goodness they’re pro life. Is this decision my decision? Am I one unexpectedly pregnant? No. So then how am I pro life then? I’m not the one making this decision.”

Unrau added that decade old messaging like “does not advocate for abortion” found on the centres website was outdated.

“It’s us who have failed in that by not updating our website,” she said.

Unrau was working to fix the mistake Wednesday. While hoping more volunteers could help keep online platforms up to date especially amid the tumultuous debate over abortion happening in the United States.