Inaugural Year of the Gerard Health Foundation Honor Awards Pro-Life Movement's Greatest Heroes
Natick, MA - The Gerard Health Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural Life Prizes award, granted to six individuals or groups that have made unsurpassed strides in preserving and upholding the sanctity of human life. These winners have demonstrated their leadership and progress in pro-life achievements through public advocacy, scientific research, legal action, outreach and public discourse activities. The first award of its kind, Life Prizes is overseen by Executive Director Cathy Ruse who worked in conjunction with members of the Selection Advisory Committee to evaluate the more than 100 nominations submitted to the Foundation and select the recipient winners of the $600,000 in shared prize money. The four advisors comprising the Selection Advisory Committee have helped advance pro-life principles and practices in their advocacy and include Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput, the Reverend Dr. Alveda King, Ambassador Ray Flynn and Professor Hadley Arkes of Amherst College.
"We were impressed by the exceptional caliber of all those nominated for the initial year of Life Prizes, and reminded of the heroism, sacrifice, and valor in the efforts of leaders from across the country," stated Cathy Ruse. "The six winners that were chosen are examples for us and for our children of the type of initiative and action that is needed to promote life throughout our country. We are thrilled with the work they have been doing and are excited to see how that work will continue."
The $600,000 in prize money will be divided among the following six winners:
* American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) - Association of pro-life physicians that saves lives by remaining steadfastly committed to life within a stridently pro-abortion profession and which conducts research, writing, and public advocacy especially on the negative impact of abortion on women.
* Richard Doerflinger - Associate Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, bioethics expert, consummate researcher, and has been involved in almost every major pro-life legislative initiative since 1980. He has contributed behind the scenes to all major pro-life statements from the Catholic bishops during the last quarter century.
* Margaret "Peggy" Hartshorn - President, Heartbeat International, a preeminent network of more than 1,000 pregnancy resource centers spread throughout the world that has directly saved the lives of innumerable unborn children and their mothers from abortion through vital pregnancy support.
* Jill Stanek - Nurse who first publicly exposed infanticide of abortion survivors, Born-Alive Infant Protection Act proponent and chief witness, and prolific writer who uses the media and her popular blog to continue revealing the truth about late-term abortion.
* Lila Rose - Founder of student pro-life organization Live Action and President of its UCLA chapter. She has launched several successful, undercover investigations that exposed the racism and statutory rape cover-up by Planned Parenthood.
* Kay Coles James - Founder and President of The Gloucester Institute, an outreach and education initiative for young African Americans focused on developing solutions for the challenges facing communities today, utilizing lessons learned from the civil rights movement, including a recognition that the first civil right is life itself. She and her husband, Charles James, have worked to advance the pro-life cause for three decades as advocates in the highest levels of government, including the Reagan and both Bush presidential administrations and as founders of a pregnancy resource center and Black Americans for Life.
"The accomplishments of these pro-life heroes are diverse, valiant, and nothing short of inspiring," stated Raymond Ruddy, President of the Gerard Health Foundation. "They are the movement's most successful champions of life and their achievements will inspire future pro-life generations to be bold and brilliant in undertaking the many challenges that lie ahead in spreading a culture of life."
After the initial nomination process made on behalf of more than 100 esteemed nominators, the Life Prizes' Selection Advisory Committee assisted the Gerard Health Foundation in the difficult job of narrowing the finalists down to secure the six prominent recipients. The awards will be given at a ceremony held in Washington, DC on January 23, 2009.
About Life Prizes
Life Prizes is a program that awards those who have succeeded in awakening the conscience of America to uphold and preserve the sanctity of human life through their leadership and advances in public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action, and other noteworthy achievements. The award is named the "Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize" to memorialize Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Ruddy, strong believers in the pro-life cause and parents of Raymond B. Ruddy, a pro-life philanthropist who has long supported and donated to life causes and charities throughout the world. In addition to recognizing those on the front lines of saving lives and who have most significantly advanced pro-life principles and practices, the initiative seeks to encourage and inspire the next generation of youth to accomplish great things in the name of life.
(h/t curt jester)