The Gerard Health Foundation, which in 2008 inaugurated a programme titled "Life Prizes," has recently announced its 2009- 2010 prizewinners. The Life Prizes programme is a fund of $600,000.00 which is shared annually between six outstanding pro-life leaders who “have achieved significant progress in promoting the sanctity of human life and are working to protect and preserve it.”.
This years winners included two members of the US National Right to Life Committee, Vice President for International Affairs and United Nations Representative Jeanne E. Head, R.N. (see photograph), and Federal Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. The four other recipients of this years prize are; Marie Smith, director of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues; Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America; the Reverend Alveda King and the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network.
Jeanne Head, R.N. who in addition to being a member of the NRLC executive committee also heads Manhattan Right to Life and has for many years worked very effectively as a volunteer lobbyist at the United Nations in New York.
Douglas Johnson has served National Right to Life as federal legislative director since 1981. Johnson was a key force behind the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, among other landmark achievements.
· 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.
· 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.
· 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.
· Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network – In 2005, Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death by juducial decision despite the protestations of her family which continues to fight injustice by supporting 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.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony held in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 22, 2011.