Moving your legs can move hearts

Knights sponsor Respect Life 5K

Colorado Knights of Columbus will host a 5K run and walk June 28 at Light of the World Church in Littleton to raise funds for the organization’s Ultrasound Initiative.

“To make a good decision you need all the information,” said John Bullock, race director and a member of Father Francis Syrianey Council 12567. “And an ultrasound definitely gives you the information you need to make a good decision.”

Studies have shown that women considering abortion have changed their minds after seeing their baby’s beating heart on an ultrasound, Bullock said. The Ultrasound Initiative has been one of the Knights’ most successful pro-life programs: as of last year, they had invested more than $8.5 million to place 334 ultrasound machines in centers nationwide. The equipment is funded through joint efforts of local, state and the Supreme Council.

The list price for an ultrasound machine can be as high as $100,000. However, through the Supreme Council, most can be purchased at a discount: a 2-D machine will usually run $20,000 to $40,000; and a 3-D/4-D machine from $40,000 to $60,000. Once a local or state council raises half of the cost, the Supreme Council will match dollar for dollar.

Bullock, former president of Rocky Mountain Road Runners, one of Denver’s largest running clubs, brings many years of race organization experience to the annual event, in its fourth year.

“It’s not only a race with a good cause,” he said, “but we’re going to make it a lot of fun.”

New this year, there will be team categories: Knights’ councils can compete against each other, as well as parish teams. Parish winners will be awarded medals, and the winning Knights’ team will receive the newly established traveling trophy, the “Respect Life Cup.”

“We’re hoping for some friendly competition,” Bullock said.

There will be awards for both the male and female divisions, by age group, and a trophy for the overall winner. The family-friendly event will also include a kids’ 1K fun run, prize raffles and a pancake breakfast. The Denver Catholic Register is an event sponsor.

Registration is available online at The $30 entry fee includes breakfast, a T-shirt and goodie bag. On race day, registration begins at 7 a.m. and costs $35. Light of the World Church is located at 10316 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton. For more information, email or call 303-358-7422.

COMING UP: Care for Her Act: A common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies

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The pro-life community is often accused of only being pro-birth; however, a congressman from Nebraska is seeking to not only bring more visibility to the countless organizations which provide care for women experiencing crisis pregnancies through birth and beyond, but to also imitate that care at the federal level and enshrine it into law.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R), who serves the first congressional district in Nebraska, is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill that’s been in the works since last year. The overall goal of the bill is to “[commit] to care for that journey of life through a complementary set of services whereby the government makes a decided choice on behalf of the life of the unborn child and meeting the needs of the expectant mother,” Rep. Fortenberry told the Denver Catholic.

The Care For Act seeks to accomplish this through four basic provisions: A $3,600 tax credit for unborn children which would apply retroactively after the child is born, in addition to the existing tax credit for children; a comprehensive assessment and cataloguing of the programs and resources that are available to expectant mothers; providing federal grants to advance maternal housing, job training mentorships and other educational opportunities for expectant mothers; and lastly, offering financial incentives to communities that improve maternal and child health outcomes.

The Biden Administration recently indicated that they’ll be removing the Hyde Amendment in next year’s budget, which has historically been in place to prohibit pubic funds from going to abortions. The Care for Her Act would circumvent this to some degree, and it would also test whether Rep. Fortenberry’s dissenting colleagues who have in the past expressed that women should be cared for throughout their pregnancies and beyond are willing to stand by their words.

While the conversation around pregnancy and women’s health often centers around abortion, Rep. Fortenberry intentionally crafted the Care for Her Act to not be against abortion, per se, but rather for women and their babies.

“Abortion has caused such a deep wound in the soul of America,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “However, the flip side of this is not only what we are against, because it is so harmful, but what are we for? So many wonderful people throughout this country carry the burden of trying to be with women in that vulnerable moment where there is an unexpected pregnancy and show them the gift of what is possible for that child and for that woman. Let’s do that with government policy as well.”

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R) of Nebraska is expected to introduce the Care for Her Act to Congress soon, a bill which seeks to provide a community of care for women facing an unexpected pregnancy. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives)

Even The Washington Post has taken notice of the Care for Her Act. Earlier this year, Rep. Fortenberry introduced the idea to his constituents, and as to be expected, he received mixed feedback. Those who are pro-life were supportive of the idea, while those who support abortions were more apprehensive. Still others shared consternation about what the government ought to or ought not to do, expressing concern about what the Care for Her Act seeks to do.

“My response is, if we’re going to spend money, what is the most important thing? And in my mind, this is it,” Rep. Fortenberry said.

However, he was very encouraged by one response in particular, which for him really illustrates why this bill is so important and needed.

“One woman wrote me and said, ‘Jeff, I had an abortion when I was young. But if I had this complement of services and commitment of community around me, I would have made another decision,'” Rep. Fortenberry recalled. “And I said ‘yes.’ That’s why we are doing this. For her.”

So far, Rep. Fortenberry has been able to usher support from a number of women representatives on his side of the aisle. He is hopeful, though, that support could come from all sides of the political spectrum.

“Is it possible this could be bipartisan? I would certainly hope so, because it should transcend a political divide,” he explained. “We, of course, stand against abortion because it is so detrimental to women and obviously the unborn child. At the same time though, I think that others could join us who maybe don’t have the fullness of our perspective, who want to see the government actually make a choice on behalf of protecting that unborn life.”

Amidst the politically polarizing discussions about pregnancy and unborn life, the Care for Her act is a common-sense approach to caring for women and their babies. It offers women facing an unexpected pregnancy the chance to experience hope in a seemingly hopeless situation and make a life-giving decision for both herself and her child.

“I’m excited by this,” Rep. Fortenberry said. “I think it opens a whole new set of imaginative possibilities for America, a transformative ideal that again makes this moment of vulnerability when there is an unexpected pregnancy, our chance, our commitment as a community of care.”