Knights' donation enables Haverhill Pregnancy center obtain ultrasound system

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA -- Pro-Life issues advocacy is fundamental to the Knights of Columbus. The Knights choose to support human life, born and unborn, from conception to natural death. That is a matter of faith and policy.

For Council 1232 Knights of Columbus Manchester-by-the-Sea, that policy became practice when it reached out to the Pregnancy Care Center of Merrimack Valley.

Bill Casey, executive director of the center, informed Tom Finn, program director of Council 1232, that their Haverhill Center was in need of a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine to visually show expectant mothers the miracle of life they all carry within their wombs. He said, unfortunately, it was out of their reach financially.

Finn assured him the Council 1232 could and would partner with the national Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative to purchase the system it prefers.

After conferring with the council's membership to approve funds for the project and after pursuing private donations from pro-life advocates, which together with the council's funds would comprise 50 percent of the ultrasound's purchase price, Finn assured the balance would be provided by Knights of Columbus Supreme headquarters, based in New Haven, Connecticut.

"We are glad to offer financial assistance to the Pregnancy Care Center. It is an asset that provides a welcome helping hand to women and couples in need at a time when they seek love, care, and guidance. The new ultrasound at the center will visually make babies come alive for expectant parents. It will ease the way for them to choose life for their unborn baby," said Phil Monahan, Grand Knight of Masconomo Council 1232, Manchester-by-the-Sea.

"Mothers ambivalent about carrying a pregnancy to full term will now see their unborn babies alive with arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, and toes. What they will see is unquestionably a developing baby. Once a parent sees that it is hard not to choose life -- one's own flesh and blood," he added.

The ultrasound system gift to the Haverhill center was stimulated by Knight Tom Finn, of Beverly Farms, who was impressed by the quality of counseling and postpartum support available to mothers in the group's care centers throughout the Merrimack Valley in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill.

Since the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative began in January 2008, more than 1,500 ultrasound systems have been installed at pregnancy centers in all 50 states. They and related postpartum support have a value of $72 million.

Casey noted, "For many women, an unplanned pregnancy can be a real crisis. Our secular society lies to these very women by telling them that it is ok to terminate the pregnancy by saying it's only a clump of cells. An abortion will make it all go away. No one needs to know. It's your body, your choice. They never discuss the termination of a life. They never tell the truth about the serious risks to their physical and mental health associated with terminating their pregnancy."

"Through this generous donation by Council 1232 and the matching funds provided by the Supreme Council, we now have our third ultrasound machine, one for each of our three locations in the Merrimack Valley. The Knights of Columbus have made this dream become a reality," he added.