ORANGE COUNTY, Clifornia, June 27, 2010 ( – In an effort to help unborn children at risk for abortion in their area, four Knights of Columbus councils in South Orange County, California are holding a charitable drive that will help bring life-saving ultrasound technology to mothers who need it most.

Working together, the Knights of Columbus councils from St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Dana Point, Mission Basilica Parish in San Juan Capistrano, St. Timothy Parin Laguna Niguel, and Our Lady of Fatima Parish in San Clemente, have so far raised more than $100,000 in support of Birth Choice Health Clinics. The funds collected by these councils are being matched by the Knights’ Supreme Council in Connecticut to purchase new 4-D ultrasound machines for the clinics.

Birth Choice will use these ultrasound machines in five clinics and in their mobile clinic to enhance the level of counseling. According to Birth Choice and the KofC councils, women who are at risk for abortion and who receive counseling that involves viewing an ultrasound of their baby are twice as likely to choose life as women who receive counseling alone.

Thus far two machines have been funded and approved, and funding is now available for two additional machines. Now the Knights are steadfastly working to raise the funds needed to purchase a fifth machine.

“The Ultrasound project saves lives,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson in his report to the 2009 Supreme Convention in Phoenix.

Birth Choice Clinic director Jenifer Borba said that, thanks to the Knights' generosity, the center volunteers “will be introducing our clients to their unborn child in a powerful way.” The very first 4D ultrasound was delivered to the Long Beach Clinic earlier this month.

“We had been praying for the Lord to deliver the donations to equip all six of our medical clinics with this new generation of ultrasounds,” said Borba. “The Knights of Columbus answered this call and have generously gifted us with the funds necessary to bring Birth Choice Health Clinics to that next level.”

She continued: “In the past, we have used the 2D ultrasounds to show our clients the beating hearts of the babies growing inside of them. With the introduction of the 4D, we will be able to show these young women a life-like image of their child. The technological advancements of the 4D are so dramatic that the images obtained show an uncanny resemblance to the child after they are born.”

Launched Jan. 22, 2009, the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative matches funds raised by local and state councils with a contribution from the Supreme Council’s Culture of Life Fund to purchase ultrasound equipment. So far, 25 pregnancy centers have benefited, including the Birth Choice Health Clinics in California.

Birth Choice founder and CEO Kathleen Eaton noted that ultrasound technology results in 74% of Birth Choice clients deciding to choose life – up from just 14 percent when the clinics could only counsel young women. “Ultrasound diagnostics has been the linchpin in the success Birth Choice has enjoyed since becoming fully licensed health clinics,” said Eaton.

Starting as a small call-in pregnancy resource center in 1981, Birth Choice has grown into six licensed community health clinics serving thousands of young women annually in Southern California, providing pro-life medical services, education and support.

Other state and local councils that want to participate in the initiative should refer to the Ultrasound Initiative Guidelines and program requirements found here.