Saturday, 24 February 2024
Longtime Heartbeat International leader wins first Life Advocate Achievement Award Clark Tibbs/Unsplash

Longtime Heartbeat International leader wins first Life Advocate Achievement Award

“Incredible help” to student group cited as reason

Revered pro-life advocate, former Heartbeat International president and current Heartbeat Board Chair Peggy Hartshorn was honored recently with the Harvard Law Students for Life group’s “Life Advocate Achievement Award.” 

The award was presented at the pro-life student group’s Pro-Life Symposium. 

It was the first time for the law school group to host an annual symposium and the first time for the award. 

A representative of the group, law student Ashley Vaughan, explained how Hartshorn came to be selected for the award.

“We chose Dr. Hartshorn because, as a mentor of mine, she has been an incredible help to our organization this year,” Vaughn told Pregnancy Help News, “and she has played a huge part in making this symposium happen.”

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Hartshorn expressed appreciation at having been chosen for the award.

"What an honor for the 'compassion arm' of pro-life to be recognized by the Harvard Students for Life in their first Life Advocate Achievement Award!” Hartshorn said. “These dynamic and courageous law students, as they come into leadership positions, give me great hope -- not only for the future of the pro-life movement but also of our country."

Harvard Law Students for Life is a student-run organization at Harvard Law School. It is a non-partisan and religiously unaffiliated organization that aims to provide a community in which students can develop a pro-life approach to moral and legal questions and to advocate for pro-life perspectives in the broader law school community, according to the group’s website.

“Despite the challenges of remote learning, this has been a phenomenal year for the Harvard Law Students for Life,” Vaughn said upon presenting the award to Hartshorn. 

With the help of the group’s president and board, she said, along with the fact that remote speaking events had been the norm over the last year, Vaughn said Harvard Law Students for Life has been able to do more this year than any year in recent memory.

“One of the many people who has made this possible is Dr. Margaret Hartshorn,” Vaughn said, “the Chairman of the Board at Heartbeat International, the largest, worldwide association of pregnancy centers with over 2,000 affiliates in 50 countries.” 

“Her unparalleled dedication to serving others in the pro-life movement began in 1973,” Vaughn said, “and in 1974, she and her husband began opening their home to pregnant women in need.”

Tweet This: "Unparalleled dedication to serving others in the pro-life movement" since 1973 cited with pro-life award for Peggy Hartshorn

She went on to detail more of Hartshorn’s background, including opening Columbus, Ohio’s, first pregnancy help center in 1981, followed then in 1986, by Hartshorn’s joining Heartbeat International. 

Vaughn explained how, in 2002, Hartshorn had co-founded Heartbeat’s 24/7, bilingual, internet-based, pro-life call center, Option Line, the only one of its kind in the world and now a backbone of the pro-life movement. She said that throughout Hartshorn’s time training, educating, and serving others, Hartshorn has travelled to 52 countries and adopted two children. 

Peggy Hartshorn

“I first met Dr. Hartshorn when I was writing my undergraduate thesis on the ongoing decline in the American abortion rate,” Vaughn stated. “She generously shared her time with me, discussing my research, statistical theories, and her book about her extensive experience in the pro-life field.” 

“From that day on,” said Vaughn, “Dr. Hartshorn has become a close, personal mentor of mine, and because of her efforts over this past school year, our organization has been able to put on a record number of events with some of the most high-profile pro-life speakers.”

“Dr. Hartshorn is the perfect inaugural candidate for this award because she embodies the exact spirit it aims to celebrate,” Vaughn continued, “a lifelong spirit of giving and action for the advancement of every person’s right to life.” 

“We are so grateful for her endless encouragement, dedication, and hope for the future,” Vaughn concluded.

The award came as Heartbeat was preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and Hartshorn was set to release a second, updated edition of her book, Foot Soldiers Armed with Love, in conjunction with Heartbeat’s 50th anniversary celebration. The book is a memoir of Heartbeat’s beginning decades.

Hartshorn’s recent book, The L.O.V.E. Approach, captures Hartshorn’s experience and approach to developing relationships over her years of pro-life work, and was also the basis for Heartbeat’s foundational training for pregnancy help centers for some 25 years years.

Hartshorn said that the pro-life student group’s accomplishments and passion were an inspiration.

“I am greatly encouraged for the next generation by these brilliant young people who are so passionate about the movement!” she said.

Lisa Bourne

Lisa Bourne is Managing Editor of Pregnancy Help News and Content Writer for Heartbeat International. She has worked for more than 20 years in journalism and communication for the pro-life community, the Catholic Church, other Christian denominations, and secular media. 

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