Its Just A Machine – From Holy Rosary Knights of Columbus

It’s just a machine. But it’s an important tool of a Lynnwood pregnancy care clinic’s mission to help clients and influence women’s decisions whether to have the baby or seek an abortion.

It’s particularly important to Kathy Dizard, the executive director of the Next Step clinic, who quietly hopes all her clients decide to shun abortion.

And the new machine, funded in part by Knights of Columbus efforts, is an important weapon in convincing women and their male partners that there’s a living, growing being in the womb, not just a smattering of flesh.

“It’s so clear,” Dizard said of the images on her new machine, which was delivered in September. “I’d say it’s 10 times better; a hundred times better” than the machine it replaced. “it has clearer pictures and that makes a difference in the minds of clients.”

The Knights started the ball rolling when Mike Deacy of St. Thomas More Parish in Lynnwood identified a need for a new and very expensive machine at Next Step. He knew there may be matching funds from the Knights’ state council, and he contacted Ron Johnson of Holy Rosary Parish, as well as other councils in the region to pitch in.

They did.

Holy Rosary Knights, for example, conducted fund-raising efforts, including a pancake breakfast organized by Vic Osoteo. Knight Dan Thulin contacted the parish women’s ministry to help. The women’s group conducted a “baby shower” to raise money and collect baby clothing, diapers and dozens of other items for infant use. Next Step collects and distributes everything from diapers to infant car seats to clients at no cost to clients.

“Holy Rosary parishioners should feel proud about this accomplishment because their fund-raising last spring played a significant role in the purchase of this machine.” Johnson said.

St. Thomas More’s Deacy handed fund-raising off to Ron DeGroot of the state Knights council, and he coordinated money-raising efforts of 10 local Knight organizations. The organizations raised more than $12,000.

All that money was matched by another non-profit group based in Pearce County, 4US. The group (which means For UltraSound) is a volunteer charity that helps to make abortions rare by equipping pregnancy resource centers with the life-saving power of ultrasound machines.

Next Step’s director Dizard said her organization, which is run by a volunteer board, didn’t have the money to buy a new and improved ultrasound machine when the old one was falling short, and she’s very grateful to the Knights, 4US and others who participated in the effort.

Her clinic, located AT 17602 Highway 99, is a pregnancy care facility that opened in 2010 to help women and men who are facing unplanned pregnancies. She offers free pregnancy testing, ultrasound, referrals and information on options.

“We are here to provide ongoing support throughout your pregnancy. Our caring staff will provide you with helpful community resources and referrals. We’re here to support and help you though the confusion and uncertainty that many women experience as they face an unplanned pregnancy,” according to the Next Step Website.

Dizard said Next Step won’t refer clients for abortions. However, she doesn’t push the decision making in any direction. There is no proselytizing, and “we don’t try to trick anybody.”

She recalls vividly a case where an ultrasound machine came in handy.

A married couple in their 30s with four children already dropped in for a test. The couple was prone to have multiple births and really didn’t want to have any more children. That’s why they were quite unhappy when they saw the ultrasound and three heart beats. Triplets.

The woman had already tried an emergency contraceptive trying to stop the pregnancy, and it failed. The couple went away displeased with what they had learned, and Dizard feared what they might do.

That’s why she was greatly pleased when she got a message from the woman saying: “I want you to know because the way we were treated in your office my three children – two boys and a girl – will be born in August.”

“The woman was so happy. I can’t think what it would be like for her if she had aborted those babies,” Dizard said.

“It’s God’s ministry,” she added. “We just work here.”