Connie Ambrecht featured in iCatholic article

SALT LAKE CITY — If a young woman considering abortion is able to see the child she carries through an ultrasound image, she may change her mind about terminating her pregnancy. Shawn Bauer, executive director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City, knows this first hand. The center sees about 700 women each year; about 500 of them have ultrasounds. Many of these women are frightened and think that abortion is their only option because their pregnancy destroys the plan they had for their life, Bauer said. For example, Bauer tells the story of a 16-year-old who wanted an abortion even though her boyfriend and his family, who accompanied her to the clinic, were excited about the baby. The young woman had an ultrasound, but “they left still talking about abortion,” said Bauer. Three days later, however, the young woman returned and told Bauer she was going to carry the child to term because of the ultrasound. This is precisely the reason that Alex Nobles got involved with the Utah Knights of Columbus’ recent efforts to raise money to purchase a new ultrasound machine for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City. “If we have an effect on changing the mind of one girl from having an abortion, that’s a human life. You can’t put a value on that. You just can’t,” said Nobles, a Saints Peter and Paul parishioner and a Knight since 1991. Nobles donated $2,300 at the beginning of the fundraising drive to encourage others to contribute, he said. “How can you be a Catholic and have a chance to help out with something like this and just not do it in any shape, form or fashion? … If we do this, we’re going to save lives. Period. That’s a fact.” The parishioners of Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish in Park City and Saint Lawrence Mission in Heber also contributed significantly to the purchase of the machine, said John Wainscott, who led the Utah Knights’ efforts; in December, the council in Park City presented him with a check for $9,200 – more than half the $16,000 needed. One parishioner alone donated $3,000 after a daily Mass, said Loren Ayers, Grand Knight of the Park City council. The Knights made appeals at the Masses for three weeks, and “when I heard about how much we received, I couldn’t believe it. … To see the support in just a three-week period was just shocking and awesome,” Ayers said. The fundraising brought in enough to purchase a Samsung Sonoace R7, which offers 3D and 4D imaging. “We have heard more than once this week, the patients have said, ‘This is nicer than what they have in my doctor’s office,’” said Connie Ambrecht, executive director of Equip Leaders Now, who trained those who will use the machine in Salt Lake City. The ultrasound machine that had been at the Salt Lake center now is in use at the Pregnancy Care Center in Brigham City; the Knights also paid the training for a nurse who is Saint Henry parishioner to become a sonographer, Wainscott said. The international Knights of Columbus provided half the $32,400 cost of the ultrasound machine through its Culture of Life fund, which is set of for this purpose. “To date we have placed 384 ultrasound machines throughout the world for a cost of $12.4 million,” said Wainscott, who just completed three terms on the international Knights’ board of directors. On Jan. 30, the Most Rev. John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, blessed the new ultrasound machine and the Pregnancy Resource Center of Salt Lake City. “We’re asking God’s blessing on this machine and on this place, but God’s blessing obviously is already here; that’s quite clear,” Bishop Wester said. “Of course, blessings are not just for things, they’re mainly for the people who use those things. This blessing for the ultrasound and this place is also a blessing for all those who work here, all those who come here, all those who have come here, and all of the lives that will be saved here.” The Utah Knights of Columbus are continuing their efforts to purchase ultrasound machines for Pregnancy Resource Centers around the state. Tax-deductible donations may be made online at or mailed to Utah Knights of Columbus, c/o Jerald Hanten, 13745 South 2200 West, Riverton, UT 84065.

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