On January 19, the Knights of Columbus reached a major milestone in their “Ultrasound Program.” The largest Catholic fraternity in the world has just donated their 1,500th ultrasound machine. These machines, vital to a successful and healthy pregnancy, have gone to facilities in all 50 states of the U.S..
CNA reports that the landmark donation went to First Choice Women’s Resource Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly was on hand for the dedication ceremony, which gathered together representatives from the Knights alongside the nuns who run the clinic. At the event, Kelly said:
“Our Founder, Blessed Michael McGivney, devoted his life to the care of widows and orphans,” he said. “We continue the Order’s mission by working tirelessly, through prayer and action, to support mothers and their children, both unborn and born.”
Since 2009, the Knights of Columbus have run an initiative that places ultrasound machines in medically certified pro-life pregnancy centers. The project was implemented by the previous Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson, who called the modern technology a “window to the womb.” In the guidelines of the Ultrasound Program, Anderson described its purpose.
“Even from the early stages of pregnancy,” he continued, “a mother can see her developing child, hear her baby’s heartbeat, and recognize the miracle of the new life within her.” Since this program began, councils have received numerous reports of mothers who have decided to carry their babies to term after seeing the ultrasound images.
Of course, the machines are put to good use in routine health visits for pregnant women, but they also bring the potential to save a life. An ultrasound exam gives expectant mothers who are grappling with ideas of abortion a chance to see their child. The Knights believe that seeing the child in this way helps to humanize the baby and spur the mother to choose life.
The Knights of Columbus raise all the funds for the ultrasound machines on their own. Half the funds are raised by local or state councils and then the Supreme Council matches it. As of 2022, the monetary value of all donated ultrasound machines has exceeded $72 million.
Additionally, from 2018 to 2020, the Knights have contributed another $14 million worth of funds and supplies to pregnancy centers. It is estimated that members of the fraternal organization have logged more than 1.3 million man-hours of volunteer work as well.
Learn more about the Knights of Columbus’ Ultrasound Program at the KofC website.
Know a pregnancy center in need of an ultrasound machine? Click here to fill out the application form.