New pregnancy center opens in Juneau

Christian-faith-based center to offer educational classes and pregnancy services

The new Juneau Pregnancy Resource Center hopes to fill a gap in the women’s services currently offered in Juneau.

“We offer an emphasis on empowering parents to consider parenthood if they didn’t think it was an option before,” said Emily Gebel, board secretary for the JPRC. “I think we offer resources for making it more practical. We’re also going to fill a niche in this community by coupling that with education that will strengthen families and strengthen parents and their skills.”

It’s a Christian-faith-based, nonprofit center that offers 220 different types of free parenting classes through Heartbeat International. Heartbeat International is a national anti-abortion organization.

Moms and dads can take free video classes at the center, complete homework and then receive “Mommy Money” and “Daddy Dough” which can be redeemed for things in the JPRC store, such as baby wipes, diapers, clothing and other baby supplies.

The classes are meant to help parents of kids through age 12, not just babies, which was a gap in the resources in Juneau, Executive Director Becky Carter said. She worked at another Heartbeat International pregnancy center called Hannah’s Place in Wrangell before moving to Juneau three years ago.

“There are a lot of resources here for families,” Carter said. “We are going to be working with the birthing center and other [resource centers] already in place. We don’t want to duplicate anything that’s already here.”

Carter said that the idea for the center started after she moved to Juneau. She and her husband, Pastor Jim Carter of Northland Bible Church, saw there were no centers like this here. She then started advertising in March 2018 through churches to see if there was any interest in forming one. She said they initially had about 20-25 people helping with the center at the first meeting.

They’ve been running a soft opening, and the grand opening is Feb. 2. They will then be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Heartbeat International awarded them a Life Launch matching grant of $30,000 in January. That means if the JPRC raises $30,000, Heartbeat International will match those donations up to that amount and the resource center will receive an extra $20,000 in cash and $10,000 worth of resources for the center and staff education. They were the only recipient of the grant in Alaska.

“We’re pro-life — that does not mean that we do not allow people who aren’t to come in — anybody is welcome,” Carter said. “We are non-judgmental. Our approach is a love approach.”

There are currently five other women’s health and pregnancy centers in Juneau: the Care Net Pregnancy Center, Juneau Family Health and Birth Center, Valley Medical Care, Planned Parenthood and Juneau Public Health Center.

• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at or 523-2228.

• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at or 523-2228.

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