BEND — The Knights of Columbus in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and LaPine, with a matching grant from the national Knights’ office, raised more than $70,000 for the purchase of two ultrasound machines for Pregnancy Resource Centers of Central Oregon.

Leanne Woods is executive director of the nonprofit, which aims to promote life-affirming values. She said that more than 8 in 10 pregnant women considering an abortion decide against it after seeing an ultrasound image of their babies.

The new machines will go to centers in Prineville and Redmond.

“The generosity of the Knights will allow us to continue transforming lives throughout central Oregon,” Woods said.

Shortly after the pandemic struck, a client came into the Bend office requesting an ultrasound. She made it clear she wanted a pregnancy test and an abortion. It would be her fourth.

“During her ultrasound we watched the screen with heavy hearts as a 13-week-old baby stretched, moved and even hiccupped,” said Woods. “We saw fingers and toes — a perfectly formed little miracle that had been knit together by the hand of God. She left that day with photos of her baby, determined to have her next abortion.”

But almost six months later, the woman walked through the doors, leading with an obviously pregnant belly. She had moved out of state to get away from a difficult relationship and had decided to have her baby. Things didn’t work out in her new home, and she was now back in central Oregon.

“With a smile she said we were one of the first places she wanted to visit because we would be happy to see her,” Wood explained. “She asked if she still had time to participate in our educational program for new moms.”

The Knights fundraising efforts were so successful that they raised more than enough to pay for the two machines. The extra funds likely will go toward funding a car seat program for new moms and staff training.