Knights of Columbus gives 1st Way new ultrasound machine

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Christine Accurso, executive director of 1st Way Pregnancy Center, addresses local media May 17 after accepting a check from the Knights of Columbus for a new ultrasound unit. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)
Christine Accurso, executive director of 1st Way Pregnancy Center, addresses local media May 17 after accepting a check from the Knights of Columbus for a new ultrasound unit. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

Women considering an abortion will soon have a new window into the womb that could change their mind, thanks to the Knights of Columbus.

Nine months ago, five local Knights of Columbus councils began fund raising efforts in order to help 1st Way Pregnancy Center purchase a 4-D ultrasound machine.

Christine Accurso, executive director of 1st Way, explained the crucial role that ultrasound technology plays in helping a woman decide to choose life for their unborn baby.

“With the amazing detail that the new 4D ultrasound provides, it will be a window to the truth of the growing life inside the womb and allow women to be more informed as they make decisions about their lives and the life of their unborn babies,” Accurso said.

The fund raising effort was led by Grand Knight Richard Kulok of St. Mary Magdalene Council #13779 and featured Knights distributing empty baby bottles to parishioners at their parishes. The bottles were later returned filled with coins, bills and checks.

The Knights also sold raffle tickets, with parishioners paying $10 for the chance to win 80 pounds of beef. In all, the five councils raised more than $49,000 toward the $79,850 price tag on General Electric’s Voluson E8 Expert BT12 ultrasound machine.

The Knights of Columbus International Ultrasound Program then matched the local fund raising effort. Since its inception in 2009, the program has provided more than $8.5 million in matching funds toward the purchase of more than 334 ultrasound machines. In Arizona, the grants have helped place two other imaging devices in Tucson and Flagstaff.

“I’m so grateful for the Knights of Columbus and their commitment to pro-life efforts,” Accurso said, “This collaborative effort will really make inroads in the culture of life in Phoenix.”

The Knights presented a check for $39,925 to Accurso May 17 at their 106th annual state convention held at the Sheraton Crescent.

“Ultrasound technology opens a window into the womb and dramatically shows the humanity of the unborn, even to the doubting eyes of those who may not have previously shared our regard for the sanctity of unborn human life,” Said Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council, his letter to Accurso.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization with 1.8 million members worldwide and 15,000 in Arizona.

“I am deeply grateful to the Knights of Columbus for their strong commitment to the Gospel of Life and for the concrete ways that they put it into practice,” said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. “The generous donation for the High-Tech Ultrasound Machine at First Way will save many of our unborn brothers and sisters from death and assist their mothers to choose life.”