The Knights of Columbus is taking its popular and successful ultrasound program to the next level with the goal of saving one million unborn lives with the help of technology that helps mothers to choose life over abortion.
Since 2009, Knights at the state and local levels have partnered with the Supreme Council in New Haven, Conn., to fund ultrasound machines for pregnancy care centers. They have so far placed 829 units in centers or in mobile medical units.
"We know from experience that a woman who sees an ultrasound image of her child is highly likely to keep her baby," said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson at the organization's 135th international convention in St. Louis.
Anderson recounted a conversation he had earlier this year during the dedication of a pro-life pregnancy center in San Antonio. A nurse practitioner told him that the first woman to use the new machine said her mind was already made up in favor of abortion.
"But then, as she watched the ultrasound," recalled Anderson, "her baby turned and seemed to wave to her. She looked up at the nurse and said, 'I'm going to keep my baby.'"
Anderson estimated that the machines have already saved hundreds of thousands of lives and set a new goal for the Knights to reach 1,000 machines in use by the time the Knights' ultrasound program reaches its 10th anniversary in 2019. Knights-donated machines are already at work in all 50 states.
"If each machine saves the lives of just four unborn children each week, the Knights will have saved more than one million lives," said Anderson. "Let us continue this great effort by reaching the goal of 1,000 machines as quickly as possible."
Founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney, the Knights of Columbus has grown to nearly 2 million members, with charity as the organization's primary mission. Last year, Knights donated $177.5 million and more than 75 million hours of service to charitable causes.
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