A baby’s heart begins to beat just three weeks after conception. It’s a simple yet interesting fact that often surprises parents eager to learn about their unborn child.

It’s also a fact that can mean the difference between life and death.

Ultrasounds are used by many prolife pregnancy resource centers to reveal the amazing wonder of a child to a mother who is considering abortion. When the Center for Women Pregnancy Counseling Services in Jackson realized they needed a new ultrasound machine, they knew that it would be an expensive yet vital investment in their work.

Jasmine Bennett, executive director of the center said, “If mothers can see a baby at 5 to 6 weeks, especially the heartbeat, that will save lives.”

Thanks to the generosity of the prolife community in Jackson, Center for Women has received a brand new ultrasound machine with high enough resolution for a mother to see her child’s heart beat at 5 or 6 weeks.

“It’s just a miracle,” Jasmine said. “This whole process has been an answer to a prayer. It has been so exciting.”

Steve Artz, district deputy for the Knights of Columbus in Jackson, decided to take the project on after their group heard about the Center for Women’s need. The Knights of Columbus Supreme Council had a program where they would match all funds raised by local councils to purchase new ultrasounds for prolife pregnancy centers, so Steve said it was a great opportunity. When they finished, he said their goal of $12,000 was actually easy to accomplish.

“You can’t believe the people coming out of the woodwork,” Steve said. “They sought me out to donate.”

The Jackson Knights of Columbus were able to raise the money in only four months, Steve said. They raised most of the money with small events and by taking baby bottles to all of their local council meetings for members to donate loose change. Steve said he was very impressed with the show of generosity given the struggles of many in the current Michigan economy.

“We had many small donations like that from people who you wouldn’t think had the money,” he said.

The new machine was unveiled on July 25 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Center for Women. Steve said about 70 people came, including a representative from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council who congratulated everyone involved in making the project a success.

“It’s like anything else,” Steve said. “If you let people know about this worthy cause, they will come and support you.”

For more information about prolife pregnancy centers in your area, click here.

***Editor’s Update: Jasmine, from Center for Women, said that as of September 30 their new ultrasound machine has been used for three mothers considering abortion. In each case, the mothers considering abortion chose life for their unborn babies.***