Building a Culture of Life
One of the most effective ways in which the Knights of Columbus has helped thousands of women save their children is through its Ultrasound Initiative.
Ultrasound exams, which are medically necessary throughout pregnancy for a variety of diagnostic reasons, use ultrasound waves to scan a woman’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 usually costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Providing ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers has enabled many thousands of pregnant women to see that their unborn child is a living human being. Ultrasound technology allows a mother to see her developing child and recognize the miracle of life within her. As a result, thousands of mothers have decided to have their babies.
The Supreme Council shares the cost of ultrasound machines with state and local councils. Since the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative launched Jan. 22, 2009 on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, state and local councils have assisted qualified pregnancy centers by raising half the cost of ultrasound machines.
When a local council raises 50% of a machine’s purchase price for a qualified center, the Supreme Council matches the amount toward the purchase price of the machines, starting at about $20,000. Contributions are drawn from the Knights of Columbus Culture of Life fund.
As of December 2016, the initiative has funded and placed 829 ultrasound machines — valued at more than $40 million — in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala and Peru.
“Not only has this program saved the lives of countless children, it has also saved countless mothers from a lifetime of sorrow,” affirmed Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in his 2015 annual report. “And should someone ask why the Knights of Columbus does this, tell them the answer is simple: because we love them both.”
In addition to the Ultrasound Initiative, the Knights of Columbus is in the forefront of marches for life all around the world: in the United States, where the annual March in Washington, D.C., has now been supplemented by similar events in dozens of state capitals as well as the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco; in Canada, where the March for Life in Ottawa draws thousands, and where marches are now being held in every provincial capital; and in the Philippines, where Knights helped lead Walk for Life events in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The Knights seek nothing less than the transformation of today’s culture into a new culture of life. And the foundation of this effort must be the bedrock of the inviolable dignity of human life at every stage and the realization that in the great family the Lord intends for his people, we are all our brother’s keeper.
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