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Three recognized by U.S. bishops with ‘People of Life’ award for work as pro-life advocates

Pro-life activists gather near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on June 24, 2023, for the demonstration of National Celebrate Life Day commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs 2022 judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court, ending Roe v. Wade, 1973 court decision that legalized abortion throughout the country. (Photo OSV News/Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters)

The U.S. bishops have recognized three pro-life advocates for their longtime efforts by presenting them with People of Life awards.

The bishops conferred the 2023 honors on Margaret (Peggy) Hartshorn, board chair of Heartbeat International, a network of U.S. pro-life pregnancy resource centers; Aurora Tinajero, a pro-life advocate and radio host based in Texas; and the late clinical bioethicist, pediatrician and neonatologist Dr. Kathryn Moseley, who until her death in June 2023 at age 70 had been the assistant professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Michigan.

According to a July 31 news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the recipients were honored July 17 during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference in Toledo, Ohio, with Moseley feted posthumously.

Attending the private awards dinner were Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo; and Bishop Earl K. Fernandes of Columbus, Ohio, as well as some 80 diocesan pro-life leaders and guests.

Established in 2007 by the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, the People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by St. John Paul II in “The Gospel of Life” (“Evangelium Vitae”) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person.

People of Life is the pro-life action campaign of the Catholic Church in the U.S., uniting clergy, religious and laity under a pastoral plan that promotes public information and education, prayer and worship, public policy and pastoral care.

The 2023 awardees join 40 other recipients who have been recognized for their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.

Hartshorn and her husband began their pro-life ministry shortly after abortion was legalized in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, housing pregnant women in their home and undertaking educational, political and legislative outreach. In 1981, the Hartshorns opened the first pregnancy help center in Columbus. Over the years, Hartshorn has been recognized for her work by President George H.W. Bush, Students for Life, Legatus International and the Diocese of Columbus.

Tinajero began her outreach in the Diocese of Dallas in 1984, and was invited to represent the Spanish-speaking community when the Catholic Pro-Life Committee was founded in 1993. Ten years later, she became the Spanish ministry director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas. In 2008, Tinajero 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 in developing parish pro-life initiatives. In 2011, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted invited Tinajero to help organize the second Bi-National Hispanic Congress in Phoenix. She also has been invited to assist with the expansion of parish and diocesan pro-life programs speaking throughout the United States, Latin America and Spain.

During her career as a medical professional, Moseley sought to address race-based disparities in health care, especially concerning unborn African American babies and their mothers. She was trained in Catholic bioethics at the Center for Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University Medical School and later undertook secular bioethics training at the University of Chicago’s MacLean Center for Clinical Ethics. Moseley was a past chair of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs 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 task force evaluating standards for ethics consultation.