Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Program Assists Pregnant Women

Councils Provide Funds to Pregnancy Centers for New Medical Technology

A new ultrasound machine donated by Massachusetts Knights to Worcester’s Problem Pregnancy Inc. was blessed by state chaplain Bishop Daniel Reilly in January. From left, are sonographer Kathy Lake, Bishop Reilly, Deacon Joseph Baniukewicz, State Deputy William Donovan and State Advocate Thomas McGinn.

A new ultrasound machine donated by Massachusetts Knights to Worcester’s Problem Pregnancy Inc. was blessed by state chaplain Bishop Daniel Reilly in January. Shown are (left to right) sonographer Kathy Lake, Bishop Reilly, Deacon Joseph Baniukewicz, State Deputy William Donovan and State Advocate Thomas McGinn

On January 22, 2009, the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand, the Knights of Columbus launched a new initiative aimed at providing women considering abortion a new way of viewing the life within them.

On that day, the K of C Supreme Council matched funds raised by Knights in Florida and Iowa to provide two pregnancy care centers complete funding for the acquisition of ultrasound machines that will help the centers to provide for the health of both mother and child.

As of April 2013, numerous local and state councils have qualified for matching funds from the Supreme Council towards the purchase of over 334 ultrasound machines at a cost of over $8.5 million, with additional state and local council fund raising campaigns for ultrasound machine purchases either in-progress or to be launched in the near future.

Ultrasound exams, which are medically indicated throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use ultrasound waves to scan a women’s abdomen, creating a picture or “sonogram” of the baby in her uterus. Without K of C support, most pregnancy care centers would be unable to purchase the ultrasound machines, each costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Before any fund-raising begins,review Qualifying a Pregnancy Care Center in Collaboration with the Local Diocese. Then, present the Diocesan Evaluation form to the diocesan pro-life director. After being completed and signed by the diocesan pro-life director, the Diocesan Evaluation form should be submitted to the Supreme Council's Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family Values. After that office advises the council that the pregnancy care center may be considered for inclusion in the Ultrasound Initiative program, fund-raising may then begin, provided that the council and the pregnancy care center will also meet all of the other Ultrasound Initiative Guidelines.

State and local councils desiring to participate in the Ultrasound Initiative should refer to the Ultrasound Initiative Guidelines for program requirements. Councils must raise half of the funds for purchase of an ultrasound machine before submitting an Ultrasound Initiative Application to the Supreme Council Office for matching funds. The answers to some “Frequently Asked Questions” provide additional information about the program.

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.”

The Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative seeks to provide medically certified pro-life pregnancy centers with the modern technology to monitor the health of babies in utero, and to allow mothers to visually experience their development.