TEMPE — The Knights of Columbus have given a new ultrasound machine to the Aid to Women Center.
Carolyn Tucker, a nurse practitioner on staff at the pregnancy center, said the machine has already made a huge difference in the lifesaving work the clinic does.
“It’s a difference of night and day,” Tucker said. “Our old ultrasound machine was grainy and didn’t give a lot of specific information.”
With the new technology, women are able to see the kind of details that make it obvious the unseen unborn are fully human. For the vast majority of women, those details make abortion unthinkable.
The previous machine, acquired six years ago — a lifetime in terms of technological advances — showed 2-D images and a heartbeat, but not the tiny features sure to melt hearts fettered by anxiety and doubt.
Fingers and toes, hands, knees and noses all spring to life on the darkened screen as Kelly Sarotte, executive director of the AWC, guides the transducer over the blossoming belly of Britney Thomas, 22 weeks pregnant with her first child and a patient at the clinic.
Thomas learned about the AWC when she visited an information table at Arizona State University. The clinic partners with a student-led pro-life group on campus.
The exquisite detail of the 4-D images wrought by the new ultrasound machine at AWC reveal “all the things that make adorable little babies at young ages adorable,” Tucker said.
When a counselor is hoping to persuade a mother to continue her pregnancy, that kind of detail is lifesaving. “Pictures don’t lie,” Tucker said. “Having that face is very important.”
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix was on hand at the Tempe clinic May 13 to bless the new machine. Before sprinkling holy water, he spoke about the hope women discover when they see the ultrasound image of their baby.
“When a mother can see the new life in her womb, what a difference it makes for her,” Bishop Olmsted said. “It gives her a new sense of who she is and therefore what she is called to be and to do.”
Bishop Olmsted thanked the Knights of Columbus who raised the money for the 4-D ultrasound machine. The combined efforts of St. Patrick, St. Joan of Arc, Blessed Sacrament and Mar Abraham parishes raised over $23,000 that the Supreme Council then matched. Funds were raised by golf tournaments, dinners and baby bottle drives.
Chuck Guillaume, a Knight from St. Patrick’s council, said the project was a top priority for the organization.
“It means everything,” Guillame said. “There can be no better cause than places like the Aid to Women Center. The unborn — trying to save those babies — that is just our goal 100 percent and we’ll continue to support them after this too.”
Sarotte said she is “extremely grateful” for the contributions of the Knights of Columbus. Patients “will be able to see in a more intimate way their baby and lives will be saved. Decisions for life will be made by being able to see those babies in their moms’ wombs,” Sarotte said.
The Aid to Women Center was established in 1985 and serves about 150 women each month. Situated near ASU with its more than 60,000 students, the clinic offers various medical services, as well as free pregnancy tests, ultrasound exams, counseling and education.
To make a contribution to the Aid to Women Center, visit aidtowomencenter.org or call (480) 966-1902.