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London Crisis Pregnancy Centre: If You Need Us, Use Us
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By Haydn Jensen

"I am pregnant". Simple words, but with life changing impact. They can cause celebration for many, but crisis for others. London Crisis Pregnancy Centre’s Executive Director Lori Bethel just wants women to know, "You are not alone. If you need us, use us." Speaking with Lori, I quickly understood that she and her team go out of their way to make the Centre a place of welcome, warmth and care--not judgment.

Even better, their care comes with a wealth of experience and readiness to respond to even the most challenging circumstances. This care extends way beyond pre- and postnatal support. Lori tells me she and her staff still go to birthday parties for children born many years ago! You become part of their family.

The aim is to provide individuals and families with accessible, confidential and affordable pregnancy support and counselling. They want to build hope for those impacted by an unplanned pregnancy. With almost all programs and services free of charge, London Crisis Pregnancy Centre (LCPC) operates entirely on donor dollars. With about 10% used for administrative costs, the rest goes into providing in-house and community programs. Let's look a bit closer at what LCPC does and then explore how you, your church, or even your workplace could be involved.

Crisis pregnancies happen--whether it’s teen sex out of curiosity or being used as a recreation activity, an extramarital affair, rape, a post-secondary student now facing a new life path, or simply the prospect of one too many mouths to feed on a limited family income. Each woman facing an unplanned pregnancy has three choices: parenting, adoption, or abortion. LCPC helps people understand each option and all the implications, offering every support possible to help each woman make an informed decision, hopefully a life affirming choice. As Lori puts it, "When we see a positive pregnancy test, we know we are fighting for two lives."

Women can always come in for a free pregnancy test and sensitive, confidential care as they consider next steps. Not just for moms, the LCPC offers many programs offering practical help and hope to everyone involved:

  • Step: For expectant and new moms covering practical aspects of prenatal care, infant care, self care and household management. Some dads come to this also.
  • Step-Up: Designed to educate dads with skills and strategies needed for personal growth and their roles as fathers.
  • Grip: For young moms needing physical, emotional, spiritual and social support.
  • Lifted Up: Providing support for grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren.
  • Post Abortion Grief Support: For those who have had am abortion and those who have been associated with the abortion.

LCPC also goes out into the community, offering two presentations to schools and youth groups for Grades 7 through 12. One presents facts about teen pregnancy and STI’s and the other talks about drug and alcohol impact during pregnancy and shaken baby syndrome. These presentations have been very well-received at many London public high schools. We are still hoping to get the thumbs up to present in the Catholic schools as well.

Lori is careful to point out that LCPC avoids any political agenda. The main focus is lives, not politics. To align themselves with anti-abortion lobby efforts or speak out against pro choice organizations would undermine their welcome to all women and families coping with an unplanned pregnancy. This said, LCPC staff have seen far too many women informed with little more than a phone number choosing to terminate their pregnancies, and then suffer the psychological aftermath for years afterward. LCPC’s post abortion support counselling is in growing demand. Lori says too many suffer in silence, and sees healing and freedom as God’s plan for everyone.

She shares some stories. Bree was a drug addicted teen, in and out of school, who eventually became pregnant. Not knowing where else to turn, she went to LCPC. The team helped Bree get into a residential crisis pregnancy home in Belleville. She was then able to get off drug dependency, sort out things with her family and best of all, get her spiritual life in order. Her life now transformed as a follower of Jesus, attends Kings University College and a local church here in London. Seeing this mom and baby’s lives move from peril to stability, Lori says Bree’s story needs to be told and retold.

She tells of another woman who came to LCPC, pregnant from an affair with a man of different ethnicity than her husband. Although in a loving Christian marriage and trying to have children (the couple had started the IVF process), she gave in to temptation in a moment of weakness and loneliness.


She felt abortion was the only way to hide her secret and her shame. Lori learned the woman was a Christian and counselled her that this was not God’s perfect plan for her, but He had allowed it. Instead of abortion, Lori counselled her that although very difficult, it was better to trust God and that God would honour her obedience. So, she agreed and told her husband the truth. Devastated but gracious, he tried to be supportive although he knew his family would disown him if he did not divorce his wife. He helped with the baby at first, but family pressure eventually won out and a divorced followed.

Mom and baby moved back to her family's home town and this allowed her relationship with her parents to grow. God used her obedient faith as a testimony to draw her parents to faith in Christ. The ex-husband visited a few times, love reignited and, family pressures on the husband notwithstanding, they remarried. Even more remarkable, the extended family has now embraced their son’s family as a whole, knowing the children will grow up in a loving home. Love is not always neat and tidy, but all these events and relationships would have gone much differently if this woman had gone through with her original plan.

LCPC's major annual event is coming soon. Entitled "Going the Distance", this April 17 Fundraising Banquet and Silent Auction clearly follows LCPC's commitment to care. Through inspiring stories and clear information about the need and opportunity involvement, Lori hopes to raise $60,000. You can get more information from the links below to find out how you could attend or donate something to their silent auction.

There are also several other great opportunities for you to support throughout the year. Churches, youth groups, businesses or other groups and individuals can fill LCPC baby bottles with loonies, toonies and cheques. Groups can host a baby shower to help provide necessary basics for new moms and babies. With only a handful of paid staff, LCPC also welcomes and appreciates volunteer time to help with babysitting, event planning and many other creative efforts.

In the end, all Lori and her London Crisis Pregnancy team wants to do is provide girls and families with hope and a future. Please consider your role in that effort.

For more information:
London Crisis Pregnancy Centre: www.loncpc.ca/ or call 519.432.7098 Going the Distance--LCPC's Annual Fundraising Banquet and Live Auction: www.lcpcbanquet.eventbrite.ca or call 519.432.7098.