BANGOR — A baby bottle drive held by Knights of Columbus Pine Cone Council #114 in Bangor will allow future mothers to see the baby they are carrying, understand the humanity of the unborn and help them choose life over abortion.

Thanks to their efforts and the generosity of parishioners, a new, state-of-the-art ultrasound unit worth over $43,000 has been purchased and delivered to the First Step Pregnancy Resource Center in Bangor.

The unit will be dedicated during a ceremony at the center, located on 336 Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor, at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

“The ultrasound is fully functional and staff has been trained. It has the newest software and is the best 3D ultrasound of its type in Maine,” said Keith Forbes of the Bangor council. “The new unit’s outstanding imaging technology will assist clients of the First Step Pregnancy Resource Center in making informed decisions regarding unexpected pregnancies.”

The baby bottle drive was held over the winter, drawing donations from all four St. Paul the Apostle Parish communities (St. John Church, Bangor; St. Mary Church, Bangor; St. Joseph Church, Brewer; St. Teresa Church, Brewer; St. Matthew Church, Hampden; St. Gabriel Church, Winterport).

The idea was to collect spare change, bills or checks and fill baby bottles with the money. All proceeds went to pay for the ultrasound unit at the center, which was founded in 1988 and treats all who come through the door with respect and compassion regardless of race, gender, life situations or sexual orientation.

Early in 2019, the center was notified that its ultrasound machine would soon be at the end of its “service life,” meaning that software updates and equipment replacement would no longer be available. The center’s executive director, Penni Hill, reached out to Rey Dubois of the Pine Cone Council.

“We were more than willing to seize the opportunity to purchase a new device that would excel at showing a baby’s heart beat at the six-week mark,” said Dubois. “One of the foundational principles of the Knights of Columbus is ‘Respect for all Human Life, From Conception to Natural Death.’ A 3D ultrasound unit would be very capable of providing clear images of preborn babies, which would be crucial to helping new mothers and their significant others make the decision to choose life for their unborn child when they are given the truth.”

“You never know what impact you’re going to have when a mom gets an ultrasound. Maybe they didn’t even know they were a mom, and there is that contemplation about whether or not they want to abort. The mother seeing their child on a video screen sometimes will make a world of difference,” said Mark Bourgoin of the Maine State Knights of Columbus.

The old ultrasound unit has been donated to an organization that refurbishes older units and donates them to clinics in need in South America.For more information about the dedication ceremony, contact Rey Dubois at 207-249-8038 or reydubois2@msn.com.