11/1/2012 2:02:00 PM Knights offering a window on life
Knights of Columbus photo
Robin Fuller, Paul Hammer, Don and Marie Chandler, Don McCarty and Larry Mullaly celebrate new ultrasound machine in Grants Pass earlier this year.
Thanks to the Knights of Columbus, hundreds of Oregon women who are unexpectedly pregnant will get free views of the child growing inside.
The Catholic fraternal and service organization inspired Catholics in four Oregon cities to donate toward ultrasound machines to be placed in pregnancy support centers. If donors can raise $13,000, the national Knights of Columbus match the amount to purchase one of the $26,000 units.
The machines are set or planned for Astoria, Grants Pass, Eugene and Medford so far.
"In the resource centers, a monitor is close to the patient but also on a large wall TV," says Dave Denton, state secretary of the Knights. "The patient can see what she's carrying. When they see that, they tend to forget about having an abortion."
Respect life groups say that 9 in 10 women who see an ultrasound image carry children to term. With ultrasounds, a woman can hear the heartbeat and see the head and fingers.
"Once they see it, it's a very powerful tool," says Pat Rice, state deputy of the Knights.
The organization has for years backed respect for life causes. There are 1.8 million Knights nationwide and 8,600 in Oregon. Each member gives money annually to a fund that counters abortion and backs other social Catholic social causes like traditional marriage.
Earlier this year, during dedication of the ultrasound machine at the Pregnancy Care Center of Grants Pass, Knights of Columbus District Deputy Larry Mullaly praised area Catholics as “a faith family whose actions embody the good news of life.”
Another campaign leader was Dee Dee Montgomery, one of four Catholic nurses who work at the Pregnancy Care Center. “God has blessed me in the work of caring for the unborn,” Montgomery told worshipers at St. Anne Parish.
In only eight days, about 200 parishioners contributed $14,000 to the project.
“This has always been very pro-life community,” said Marie Chandler, a campaign organizer, “and they came through in a wonderful way.”
Local contributions were supplemented by a $12,000 grant the from Knights of Columbus, an international Catholic men’s organization of 1.8 million members. Their work emphasizes the protection of widows and children, aiding people with disabilities, and promoting life in all its stages.
In 2009, the Knights in the U.S. began matching local funds across the nation, saying ultrasound machines not only save babies from abortion, but are important tools for the life of mothers and children.
The sophistication of today’s medical technology provides a “window on the womb” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “Even from the early stages of pregnancy, a mother can see her developing child, hear the baby’s heartbeat, and to recognize the miracle of the new life within her.”