A group of six pro-life leaders and activists are recipients of the second round of awards from a foundation seeking to honor pro-life advocates for their tireless efforts speaking up for unborn children.
The foundation says the winners are “individuals or organizations that have achieved significant progress in promoting the sanctity of human life and are working to protect and preserve it.”
This year’s winner’s include Jeanne Head, the United Nations lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee; the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network founded by the family of the disabled woman whose husband took her life; and Kristan Hawkins, the director of Students for Life of America.
Douglas Johnson, the Congressional lobbyist for the National Right to Life Committee, also received a Life Prizes award as did Alveda King, the pro-life activist niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Marie Smith, the wife of pro-life Congressman Chris Smith who has pressed for the pro-life cause on an international level.
“We are pleased to present the second Life Prizes to such deserving recipients,” Raymond Ruddy, president of the Gerard Health Foundation, said in a statement. “These six winners are doing some of the pro-life movement’s most important work, and it is right to celebrate their sacrifice and dedication. Each of them is an example to follow and we look forward to their future accomplishments in the cause of life.”
The first Life Prizes awards were presented at a ceremony in 2009; the winners of this year’s $600,000 in awards were chosen by a Selection Advisory Committee from 90 nominations submitted to the Foundation. Members of this Committee include Richard Doerflinger of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Peggy Hartshorn of Heartbeat International; Kay Cole James of the Gloucester Institute; and Jack Willke of Life Issues Institute.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony held in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 22, 2011.
The foundation released its comments about each of the award winners:
Jeanne Head – A force to be reckoned with at the United Nations, Jeanne Head left her career as an obstetrics nurse to fight for the protection of the most vulnerable members of the human family on the international stage. As UN Representative for National Right to Life Educational Trust and a Representative of the International Right to Life Federation, she debates the most politically powerful – from the Oval Office to members of the UN Security Council.
Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network – In 2005, the world watched as a young woman with disabilities was deprived of food and water by order of a judge. Her family has vowed to fight for the right to life of disabled and vulnerable men and women everywhere, and their Foundation has provided assistance to more than 1,000 families through a national network of resources, support, and medical facilities for the medically-dependent, persons with disabilities, and those incapacitated in life-threatening situations.
Douglas Johnson – The indispensible man behind all of the greatest pro-life victories in Congress since Roe v. Wade is National Right to Life Committee Legislative Director Doug Johnson. His keen strategy and consummate research have served the pro-life movement from behind the scenes for three decades.
Kristan Hawkins – Young people today are overwhelmingly pro-life, and Students for Life of America and its Executive Director Kristan Hawkins have taken a leading role in engaging young people across the country in pro-life efforts through innovative use of the internet and increasing Students for Life chapters by the hundreds.
Reverend Alveda King – It is altogether fitting that the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. would become one of the most important leaders in the greatest civil rights battle of our day. As founder of King for America, Dr. Alveda King has been the public face of the pro-life movement in the African American community, speaking and advocating for years against abortion and especially the targeting of African Americans.
Marie Smith – There is a global pro-abortion agenda and Marie Smith has made it her mission to identify, unite, and strategize with pro-life groups, lawmakers, and religious leaders to advance respect for life in law and policy. Ms. Smith is the Director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues, a non-partisan global outreach of Gospel of Life Ministries.