Students for Life to Honor Heartbeat President

Heartbeat International President to receive Defender of Life recognition

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Tuesday | Oct. 7 2014
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COLUMBUS, OH – Celebrating her nearly 42 years of hands-on involvement in the life-saving ministry of pregnancy help, the last 21 of which as President of Heartbeat International, Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., will be honored as a Defender of Life by Students for Life of America, the group announced Tuesday.

The award is set to be presented at Students for Life of America's West National Conference in San Francisco, Calif., on January 25, 2015. Students for Life of America has also announced Professor Robbie George of Princeton University as its East National Conference recipient.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by an excellent pro-life organization like Students for Life," Hartshorn said. "The work they are doing among high school and college students around the country is remarkable, and I am so thankful to commend with them the great work that pregnancy help organizations are doing every day in every region of the world."

Jolted by the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Roe v. Wade decision Jan. 22, 1973, Hartshorn immersed herself in pro-life work almost immediately, becoming involved in Columbus (Ohio) Right to Life in the following weeks. She and her husband, Mike Hartshorn, then began housing pregnant women in 1974, which led to their realization of a call to begin a pregnancy help organization in 1978.

That call led to the 1981 founding of Pregnancy Decision Health Centers, in Columbus, Ohio, which now serves over 15,000 clients annually in eight locations throughout Central Ohio.

Peggy Hartshorn joined the board of Heartbeat's forerunner organization, Alternatives to Abortion International, in 1986, before taking the reigns as president in 1993. During her tenure, Heartbeat International's umbrella has expanded from around 100 centers to over 1,800, comprising the largest and most expansive pregnancy help network in the world.

Hartshorn's previous awards include the Cardinal John J. O'Connor pro-life award from Legatus International, the Norrine A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Life Prizes Award, the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, the Sanctity of Human Life Award, the Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the Founder's Award from the Christ Child Society, the Catholic Woman of the Year Award from the Diocese of Columbus (Ohio), and the President's Volunteer Service Award under President George Bush.

Previous Defenders of Life Award winners include Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Father Frank Pavone, Abby Johnson, David Bereit, and Phyllis Schlafly.