Bishop Estévez Blesses 100th Ultrasound for Life
October 21, 2020 • Savanna Kearney

By Savanna Kearney

For a woman experiencing a crisis pregnancy, hearing her baby’s heartbeat can be the deciding factor between choosing life over abortion. Now, thanks to the Florida Knights of Columbus, mothers-to-be across the state have access to more than 100 ultrasound machines.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, Bishop Felipe Estévez visited the Community Pregnancy Clinic in Gainesville and blessed its newest ultrasound machine, which is the 100th donated by the Knights of Columbus, specifically the men of Council 13900, to pro-life pregnancy clinics in Florida.

Those that attended the blessing included Community Pregnancy Clinics CEO Gary Ingold, Florida State Senator Keith Perry, Florida Knights of Columbus State Deputy Scott O’Connor, Grand Knight of Council 13900 Peter Nguyen, Mercederian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and host of EWTN’s Pro-Life Weekly Catherine Hadro.

“We are very honored that all of you have come for this work of mercy so related to the protection of human life and the dignity of the woman who is so blessed with the gift of life within her,” said Bishop Estévez.

The Florida Knights of Columbus are the first to achieve the milestone of donating 100 ultrasound machines, which they did through various fundraisers. The Community Pregnancy Center in Gainesville, which houses the 100th ultrasound machine, is located right across from the University of Florida campus, where more than 50,000 students attend.

“This place is an encounter where women come in search of something, and this encounter is transformative,” said Bishop Estévez. “It makes a difference. It’s an encounter that gives true life in abundance.”

The Gainesville clinic has been open for about a year, and Julienne Manalastas, head nurse of the clinic, said that she’s seen firsthand how the technology of an ultrasound machine can change a woman’s life.

“We encounter a lot of moms experiencing unplanned, crisis pregnancies, and they have no idea what they’re baby looks like, when it has a heartbeat, when it has different body parts,” she said. “They see the ultrasound, and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know it had a heartbeat,’ or ‘I didn’t know it would be this big.’ At the end of the day, they know we’re here for them no matter what choice they make.”

Photos by St. Augustine Catholic/Savanna Kearney