A presentation and blessing of a new ultrasound machine took place Thursday, July 21, 2011, at the Pregnancy Support Services of Wake Forest (PSSWF). The $48,000 machine was a gift to the center as part of a matching grant offered by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council that was taken up and met by three Wake County Knights of Columbus Councils and other donors. The three Councils are from St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wake Forest, St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Raleigh, and St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Raleigh.
PSSWF CEO Amber Lehman said the Center staff and Board of Directors are “extremely grateful” to all those who worked so hard and made financial commitments in purchasing this second ultrasound machine for the Center. She explained that it will be used in a mobile RV that will serve northern Wake County as well as Henderson and the surrounding area. Until the van is ready, it will be used as a second ultrasound machine.
In making the presentation, Grand Knight Vincent Govan from the St. Catherine of Siena K of C Council in Wake Forest said the first principle of the Knights is based in charity; specifically “love they neighbor.” He said, “That principle is what propels the Knights to support women and their babies. This initiative is to provide women contemplating abortion with the opportunity to see the life growing within them.”
Ms. Lehman noted that women should not be expected to address an unintended pregnancy in an hour. She says women who come to the Wake Forest center are never forced into any decision. She says if they wish to see the ultrasound, it is shown to them. If they do not want to see it, they are not pushed into it. “We work alongside women to help them address obstacles they see in front of them (with their pregnancy). We assist them by helping connect them with community resources to address their concerns.”
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, invited to the presentation and asked to bless the medical instrument, expressed his deep gratitude to the Knights for their “strong commitment to the sacredness of human life, the dignity of women and the dignity of every human being.”
Calling the ultrasound machine a gift from God that is pro-woman, Bishop Burbidge noted that is a major reason he and Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte are supporting the Woman’s Right to Know Act and the hopeful, expected override of Governor Beverly Perdue’s veto of the bill. The Act would offer an ultrasound and require a 24-hour waiting period for any woman contemplating an abortion.
In his comments prior to the blessing, Bishop Burbidge said, “We ask God to bless this machine so it will be a tool to safeguard the most sacred gift He has entrusted to us, the gift of life.”
A story on the presentation will be a segment on this weekend’s Catholic Weekly radio program that can be heard on WDNC AM-620 in the Triangle on Sunday at 9:30 AM, WBPL 92.7 FM in Wilmington, Sunday, 3:30 p.m, or on the Diocesan website on Monday, July 25.
The presentation and an interview with PSSWF CEO Amber Lehman will be available on Catholic Perspective the week of July 31.
Above: Ms. Amber Lehman, Pregnancy Support Services CEO, accepting ultrasound machine presented by Grand Knight Vincent Govan, with Bishop Michael F. Burbidge present for the presentation and blessing.
Above: Members of the Knights of Columbus from three Wake County parishes and Ms. Amber Lehman during remarks by Bishop Burbidge.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge; Client Services Director Paige Williams; CEO Amber Lehman; Diocesan Pro-Life Director Jackie Bonk; Past Grand Knight Andy Kotynski of St. Catherine of Siena, Wake Forest; Grand Knight Victor Govan of St. Catherine of Siena, Wake Forest; Joe Rothengast of St. Luke the Evangelist, Raleigh; and Nursing Supervisor Jessica Naramore.