A ribbon-cutting/blessing of an ultrasound machine takes place at the Community Pregnancy Clinics offices in Fort Myers Dec. 19. (BOB REDDY | FC)

Saving the unborn, one baby at a time

FORT MYERS  |  The members of Knights of Columbus Council 6265 from St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres provided an early Christmas gift to the Community Pregnancy Clinics in Fort Myers with a donated ultrasound machine.

The donation encompasses a key component of what the Knights are all about — firmly committed to defending the right to life of every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane presided over a Dec. 19 blessing of the machine, and thanked the Knights from Council 6265 for the donation and all Knights for their public support of life.

“The Knights makes a real difference in large and small ways in the battle to save each life — life created by God in his image,” Bishop Dewane continued. “The Knights are on the front lines in this battle. Councils across the Diocese have stepped up to buy these machines because they know it is the right thing to do and the machines make a difference. Lives are saved!”

National statistics indicate that up to 90 percent of women who see their baby through an ultrasound choose life for their child, a fact that helped to motivate Council 6265 in raising the money needed, explained Grand Knight Doug Blais.

“This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a Knight,” Blais said. “Once I learned about the impact ultrasounds can have on women, I was hooked. As Knights, we work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of so many people. The raising of money for this ultrasound machine takes this to a higher level.”

The sophistication of today’s medical technology provides a “window on the womb,” even from the early stages of pregnancy, and helps create the connection between mother and the unborn child. This is a crucial factor when it comes to women who have unplanned pregnancies or know of no viable options for caring for a child, explained Deacon Gary Ingold, Community Pregnancy Clinics CEO.

With an ultrasound, the mother can see her developing child, hear the baby’s heartbeat, and recognize the miracle of the new life within her. Ultrasound exams use ultrasound waves to scan a women’s abdomen, creating a picture, or “sonogram,” of the baby in her womb.

“With this donation from the Knights, Community Pregnancy Clinics in Fort Myers is able to continue to carry out our mission of providing medically accurate information about pregnancies and offering high quality counseling for women seeking to make the crucial decision about whether or not to carry their child to term,” Deacon Ingold said.

The Knights raised half the cost of the machine as part of a national ultrasound initiative, which guarantees a matching donation from the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus. Additional money raised above and beyond the cost of the machine goes to cover training, setup and other expenses.

Blais said the commitment of Father Dennis Cooney, St. Raphael Parish’s Pastor, to support life made the process of fundraising much smoother. “The example Father Cooney provides to us all led the way to the success of supporting this project.”

The ultrasound initiative started in January 2009 and seeks to provide medically certified pro-life pregnancy centers with modern technology to allow mothers to visually experience their development. To date, nearly 600 ultrasound machines have been donated by the Knights nationally, with the Fort Myers ultrasound being at least the 12th donated by various Knights councils within the Diocese of Venice. A Knights council in Naples donated an ultrasound to support the Community Pregnancy Clinics Naples location in March 2016, and another Council in Fort Myers donated one for a pregnancy resource center in Immokalee in April.

For more information about Community Pregnancy Clinics, with locations in Fort Myers and Naples, plus a mobile clinic, visit www.community4life.com.