Knights of Columbus President: No Abortion in Health Care, More Ultrasounds

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Knights of Columbus President: No Abortion in Health Care, More Ultrasounds

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 5
, 2009

Phoenix, AZ ( — As members of the Knights of Columbus, a large Catholic fraternal order, gather in Phoenix for their 127th annual convention, Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson has a message for his colleagues. Anderson urged them to oppose including abortion in the health care bills and to do more to help pregnant women.

The Knights of Columbus is no stranger to providing insurance to its 1.78 million members.

But when it comes to a government-run health care plan, Anderson draws the line at including abortion funding or insurance mandates requiring abortion coverage.

"A health care system designed to save lives on the one hand must not become a vehicle for taking lives through abortion and euthanasia," he said. "Health care reform must be abortion-free."

"In our search for common ground," Anderson said, "Let us begin there."

Anderson told the convention participants that the inclusion of an abortion mandate and other provisions that would require all health insurance plans to pay for abortions runs contrary to public opinion, which has moved decisively in the opposite direction.

He cited the results of a recent poll conducted by Marist College for his group.

The poll found that, if people had the ability to decide abortion law, 86% of the American people would choose to significantly restrict abortion. Anderson said it joins others showing a pro-life shift in public opinion.

"Other recent polls, including the Gallup Poll, have confirmed a shift in public opinion. Gallup showed a majority of Americans describing themselves as pro-life for the first time since they began asking the question in 1995," he said.

The Knights of Columbus has a longstanding pro-life outreach and part of that commitment includes its ultrasound initiative, where the national organization joins with state and local councils in funding the purchase of ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy clinics.

"Up to 90% of women considering abortion choose to have their babies after seeing an Ultrasound image," Anderson noted. "They hear their baby’s heartbeat; they see their baby’s head and fingers. They know that their baby is a child, not a choice."

Since the beginning of the year, the Knights of Columbus has donated nine ultrasound machines to pregnancy centers in Florida, Iowa, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Texas.

Anderson set a goal of putting "at least one ultrasound machine in every jurisdiction in the Order this year."

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