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Bishop Burbidge blesses new ultrasound machine at Front Royal Pregnancy Center

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The pregnant woman and her husband came to the Front Royal Pregnancy Center not thinking an ultrasound would change their minds. They already had several kids, and they didn’t think it was a good time for another. “They were very, very abortion-minded,” said Carla Sayre, ultrasound technician. 

But as Sayre performed an ultrasound on the wife, up popped not one but two little fetuses — wriggling around, hearts beating, looking like they were nestled in bunk beds. The couple burst out crying. “They said, ‘Oh my goodness this is a message from God, we can’t (abort), these are ours,’ ” said Sayre. Fast forward a year later when Sayre saw a photo of the couple’s older sons tenderly holding their twin sisters — the new princesses of the family. 

For many years, providing free ultrasounds has been a critical piece of the pregnancy center’s mission. Recently, with the help of the local John Carrell Jenkins Knights of Columbus Council 7771, the center replaced an old ultrasound machine with a new one that provides extremely clear images, said executive director Kathy Clowes. 

“The ultrasound answers the questions: are you really pregnant? How far along are you? Is the baby in the uterus?” said Clowes. “Women who are deciding what to do with their baby need to know all that information.” 

However, an ultrasound provides not only medical information — it helps create an emotional connection. 

“It has a profound effect,” said Clowes. “It helps them bond with the baby, it helps them realize there’s a separate person there. It helps them weather a lot of challenges once they see the baby.”

Carla Sayre, an ultrasound technician at the Front Royal Pregnancy Center, shows guests a previous ultrasound on the new machine. ZOEY MARAIST  |  CATHOLIC HERALD

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 Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessed the center’s new machine at a small ceremony April 17. “Through the work of our hands and the help of technology, we cooperate with the Creator and carry out Christ's mandate to follow him in serving one another in love,” he said. “Let us then bless God as we use this new ultrasound, never forgetting to praise him, who is the source of all life.”

Over the past few months, the center has had a lot of clients seeking ultrasounds, said Clowes. 

“For a couple years, we’ve been averaging about 120 (ultrasounds) a year but we’ve done 50 in January, February and March,” she said. “We’ve been doing radio ads and touching up our website and reaching people from farther out.” She’s pleased they’ve been able to serve people from around the area, providing them with an ultrasound, baby clothes, counseling and more. “If they’re concerned about being pregnant, we want them to walk in the door,” she said. 

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

@ZoeyMaraistACH