TO BE A KNIGHT IS TO BE PRO-LIFE
Five key ways we defend precious lives
The first principle of the Knights of Columbus is charity, the love of neighbor, and this love is expressed most powerfully in the Order’s vigorous defense of the weak and vulnerable of society. Today, there is no one as defenseless as the innocent child in the womb.
As the annual March for Life steps off on January 24 in Washington, D.C., it is a good time to remember how Knights are at the forefront of the pro-life movement. The work of Knights and councils around the world has helped many women choose life for their child, thereby saving countless lives and sparing mothers the wounds and regrets that so many post-abortive women experience.
Here are just five major ways in which the Knights of Columbus stand up to defend unborn human life.
The March for Life. Watch TV coverage of the annual pro-life rally in Washington, D.C., each year, and you’ll see banners and signboards bearing the Order’s familiar emblem. The Knights of Columbus not only sponsors the National March for Life, we also comprise one of the largest contingents in attendance and help fund many other groups that travel to the event. The same is true of pro-life marches and rallies in state capitals and in cities great and small. The January marches recall the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion, which has resulted in the deaths of some 50 million unborn children.
Ultrasound Initiative. Education is a key to saving unborn lives, as the abortion industry and its supports spread misinformation about the development of the child in the womb. The Knights of Columbus have funded and installed more than 1,000 ultrasound machines in pro-life pregnancy centers so that the expectant mother can view an accurate image of her developing child – something that would be denied to her at many abortion facilities. Seeing the face and movements of the unborn child goes a long way to helping women appreciate the child’s humanity and right to be born.
Pregnancy Support. Pro-life people are wrongly accused of caring for babies only until birth and doing nothing for the struggling mother afterward. Knights of Columbus councils continue to show love for child and mother long after birth, providing material, financial, labor and other support to pro-life pregnancy centers that help women during pregnancy and following the birth of their newborn children. Councils often “adopt” a pregnancy center and continue to extend assistance throughout the year.
Novena for Life. Prayer is essential to any virtuous endeavor, and prayer is a major part of the Knights’ pro-life efforts. One newer initiative is the Novena for Life, whereby councils lead their parish and local communities by bringing their families together for both public and private acts of prayer to promote the protection of life from conception to natural death. The novena, nine days of sustained prayer, is at the heart of fostering this wider petition for divine intervention and guidance in this noble battle.
Pro-life Educational Resources. Winning the war over abortion means not just changing laws, but also winning the minds and hearts of the people. It also means forming and informing consciences so that all will recognize the humanity and dignity of the unborn child. Through its Faith in Action programs and Catholic Information Service, the Knights of Columbus offers a wide collection of educational resources provides a background on the Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life and the role of Catholics in protecting it at all stages.
The Order’s programs of providing care for the poor, for widows and orphans, for persons with disabilities, for Christian refugees, for families in emergency situations, and for coming to the aid of those in need further reflect the Knights’ commitment to defending the weak and vulnerable of the world. Putting an end to all abortions, however, remains a paramount goal, one that we continue to work toward in hopes that one day soon, in the words of Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, we might march in the nation’s capital “not for a demonstration, but for a victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue!”