Three champions of the pro-life cause were honored on July 17 at the 2023 People of Life awards during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference in Toledo, Ohio. This year's honorees are Margaret H. (Peggy) Hartshorn, Ph.D., Aurora Tinajero, and Dr. Kathryn Moseley. Approximately 80 diocesan Catholic pro-life leaders and guests attended the private awards dinner, including Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Also in attendance was Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo, and Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus.
The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.
Awardee Margaret H. (Peggy) Hartshorn, Ph.D., is current Chairman of the Board of Heartbeat International, and co-founder of Heartbeat International’s Option Line. Since 1973, she and her husband have been dedicated to the pro-life movement, not only working with the educational, political, and legislative arm of the movement, but also began housing pregnant women in their home in 1974, and additionally opened the first pregnancy help center in Columbus, Ohio, in 1981. Peggy is the recipient of many awards for pro-life work, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award under President George H.W. Bush, the Defender of Life Award from Students for Life, the Cardinal John J. O’Connor pro-life award from Legatus International, and the Catholic Woman of the Year Award from the Diocese of Columbus.
Awardee Aurora Tinajero started her pro-life ministry in the Diocese of Dallas in 1984. When the Catholic Pro-Life Committee was founded in 1993, she was invited to join the board to represent the Spanish-speaking community. Beginning in 2003, Aurora also worked as Spanish Ministry Director at the Catholic Pro-life Committee of North Texas (CPLC). In 2008, Aurora organized the first Spanish Congress with pro-life leaders from 14 Spanish-speaking countries and 17 states to train Spanish-speaking clergy and lay leaders to develop parish pro-life initiatives. In 2011, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted invited Aurora to help organize the second Bi-National Hispanic Congress in Phoenix. Aurora has been invited to assist with the expansion of parish and diocesan pro-life programs speaking throughout the United States, Latin America, and Spain. Aurora has also served as the respect life leader of her parish for 18 years. She is the mother of 5 daughters and grandmother of 24 grandchildren.
Awardee Kathryn Moseley, MD, MPH, who passed away at the age of 70 in June 2023, was honored as a life-long pro-life health care advocate. She was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Emerita at the University of Michigan and was a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist. During her career as a medical professional, she sought to address race-based disparities in health care especially concerning African American unborn babies and their mothers. Dr. Moseley received training in Catholic bioethics at the Center for Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University Medical School and later added secular bioethics training at the University of Chicago’s MacLean Center for Clinical Ethics. Dr. Moseley is a past chair of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association. She additionally served on the national ethics committees for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics. She was the National Secretary for the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and was a member of the original taskforce evaluating standards for ethics consultation.
The awardees join 40 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007. To learn more about People of Life, the bishops’ pro-life action campaign in the United States, please visit: https://www.usccb.org/prolife/people-life.