Pro-life members of the community are seeking grant funds to acquire an ultrasound machine for the North Adams or Pittsfield pregnancy center.

Local Knights of Columbus members took up the cause and recently met with the leadership of both centers, who received the plans favorably.

Wally Boyer, a member of the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree, said local members seek to begin fundraising efforts next month.

If local members can raise $17,000, the Knights of Columbus national headquarters, via its Ultrasound Program, will subsidize the rest of the cost, Boyer said. An ultrasound machine fetches roughly $35,000.

"There’s hundreds of [the machines] around in other states but none in Berkshire County," Boyer said. "We’re going to make it happen."

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal benefits organization headquartered in New Haven, Conn., has six "councils" spanning the county and roughly 500 local members.

The abiding belief of the organization, and the backdrop of its Ultrasound Program, is that pregnant women who see sonogram images of the baby in utero are less likely to abort.

Judy Williams, who directs the Northern Berkshire Pregnancy Support Center in North Adams, said she hopes it can soon provide "ultrasounds for the woman that we see at no cost to them whatsoever."

"The Knights have been more than gracious in wanting to help us," Williams said.


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The two centers agree that North Adams is more likely to be the place where the new machine ends up, according to Williams.

"We feel that we can work together," she said. "Our relationship is a very good one."

As things presently stand, the closest place women can get a free ultrasound is in Bennington, Vt., Williams said. Her office refers clients there for this service.

Boyer said he believes the Knights can raise the funds in about three months.

"Each council is sending out letters to people who they know are sympathetic, and some are planning [benefit meals]," he said.

To reach Phil Demers:

pdemers@berkshireeagle.com

or (413) 281-2859.

On Twitter: @BE_PhilD