Supreme Knight optimistic pro-life voice is being heard

  • August 5, 2009

PHOENIX, Arizona - Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus , has called on those who “say they want to reduce the number of abortions” to join with pro-life groups to implement a strategy that has proven results in reducing abortion by up to 90 per cent.

Speaking to about 1,500 delegates at the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, Anderson did not specifically mention U.S. President Barack Obama but in making reference to those “seeking common ground” he brought to mind Obama’s commitment during his controversial Notre Dame speech in April to find common ground on the issue of abortion. Anderson also warned that U.S. health care reform, as proposed by Obama’s administration, will result in an increase in abortions and put the United States on the “path to euthanasia.”

Anderson said significant reduction in abortion has been achieved in seven centres that received ultrasound machines through the Culture of Life Fund , an initiative launched last year by the Knights of Columbus. Up to 90 per cent of women who were considering abortion opted to have their baby after seeing an ultrasound image, Anderson said.

“They hear the baby’s heartbeat, they see their baby’s and fingers,” Anderson said. “They know that it is a child, not a choice.”

Anderson announced that the Knights will put at least one ultrasound machine in every one of its jurisdictions this year. He called on pro-abortion advocates to let women make an informed choice about abortion by using the latest ultrasound technology.

“Come join us in a program that can reduce abortions by perhaps as much as 90 per cent,” he said.

In a speech that was equal parts a financial update, pep talk and vision statement, Anderson contended that a landmark shift is taking place in public attitudes toward life issues. He pointed to internal polling that showed more than 80 per cent of Americans support limits on abortion and a Gallup poll that found 51 per cent of Americans regard themselves as pro-life, representing the first time the pro-life side formed a majority since Gallup began asking the question in 1995.

“In short, our long-term strategy of working to change hearts and minds on abortion is working. And ultimately the will of the people matters.”

Despite these results, Anderson said the task ahead is even more formidable than it has been in the past. He pointed to United Nations agencies that are pressuring governments in Catholic nations such as Mexico, Poland and the Philippines to legalize abortion. And he had harsh words for the Obama administration’s health-care reform initiative, which Anderson contends could result in the biggest increase in abortion since the 1973 Wade vs Roe Supreme Court decision.

Anderson’s objection is not with health-care reform itself, but with legislation that could provide funding for abortion and, potentially, euthanasia. He called for a provision to explicitly exclude abortion and euthanasia from the bill.

“Health care reform must not become a vehicle to take lives through abortion and euthanasia,” he said. “Health care reform must be abortion-free and we will work to see that it is.”

Anderson called on Knights to be proactive not only in their advocacy for life issues, but in offering their time and services to assist pregnant women and young mothers. He reminded the Knights that many mothers not only need help during pregnancy but require support after the child is born.

He had praise for Canada’s pro-life movement and was particularly impressed with the March for Life in Ottawa earlier this year that attracted a record crowd of more than 12,000.

“It was obvious that there is a tremendous surge in pro-life determination in Canada,” he said. “Not only did pro-lifers turn out in large numbers in a driving rain, but there were also marches in nearly every Canadian provincial capital as well.”

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