The Knights of Columbus defends life in all its stages from conception to natural death. Blessed Michael McGivney founded the K of C to do just that, and since then, the Order has championed a number of pro-life initiatives.
Here are some of the ways Knights defend life:
1. Caring for widows and orphans
The needs of suffering immigrant families inspired Father McGivney to establish the Knights of Columbus with an insurance program so that in the event of the loss of a breadwinner, families could stay together and avoid financial ruin. The insurance program continues to this day.
2. Standing against racial and religious discrimination
At the peak of the Ku Klux Klan’s popularity, the Knights were among their most staunch opponents. The Knights also aided Mexican Catholics persecuted by their government in the 1920s. Then, in 1938, the Order advocated for the protection of European Jews at the behest of the Jewish War Veterans.
3. Helping to plan every March for Life in Washington, D.C., since the first one in 1974
March for Life president Jeanne Mancini has said that, “Without Virginia Knights of Columbus, there would be no March for Life.” Knights have also participated in local pro-life marches around the world, from Los Angeles to Ottawa to Mexico City to the Philippines.
4. Sponsoring a poll showing most Americans want restrictions on abortion
The Order has sponsored an annual poll gauging Americans’ attitudes on abortion. The latest poll, released January 2020, found that a large majority of Americans — and American voters — prefer to vote for candidates who support abortion restrictions. Most also want the Supreme Court to reinterpret Roe v. Wade to either allow states to decide on abortion restrictions themselves or to ban the procedure entirely.
5. Donating more than 1,000 ultrasound machines since 2009
These ultrasound machines help mothers to see their pre-born child. If every Knights-donated machine prompts four moms per week to keep their babies, over 1 million lives have been spared. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson has stated that the program is the “greatest humanitarian effort the organization has ever undertaken.”
6. Collaborating with the Special Olympics since its founding in 1968
K of C has a unique partnership with the Special Olympics and has helped disabled athletes train for and compete in games around the world. Knights have assisted with all aspects of the program from fundraising to feeding the athletes, organizing and judging events, and providing equipment and awards.
7. Defending persecuted Christians throughout the world
Knights advocate for the religious freedom of all peoples through the Christian Refugee Relief program, which helps at-risk Christians facing genocide all over the world, including in the Middle East and Nigeria. Since 2014, the Order has spent more than $25 million to help those in the Middle East and has worked with the Obama and Trump administrations to direct international assistance to those areas targeted by ISIS.
8. Sponsoring prayer programs to support life
This past October, the Order sponsored a Novena for the Cause of Life and called all Catholics to join in prayer with Pope Francis for an end to abortion, euthanasia and the many social ills that bring illness, broken families, unhappiness and premature death, especially for the most vulnerable. The Order has also supported the Silver Rose program — a pro-life initiative the unites Canadian, U.S. and Mexican Knights — for the past 60 years.
Support Knights’ efforts to defend life by donating to the Culture of Life Fund.
Originally published in a weekly edition of Knightline, a resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline’s archives, click here. Or, share your story by emailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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