What’s a big party without giving awards to some amazing people and pro-life heroes? We are so pleased and honored to be handing out The Wilberforce Leadership Award and the Defender of Life Award at our big 10-Year Anniversary gala in New York City.
The William Wilberforce Leadership Award is named for the British social justice and human rights activist, William Wilberforce, who led the fight to abolish the slave trade and was successful in helping to end slavery in Great Britain. SFLA awards pro-life leaders each year who, like Wilberforce, are working to create and uphold laws that will eventually abolish the greatest human rights threat our nation faces, abortion.
The Defender of Life Award is given to those pro-life heroes who have made bold and courageous steps to advance the pro-life movement, and defend the most defenseless among us – the preborn child, on the national stage within their sphere of influence.
The Wilberforce Leadership Award: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Marsha Blackburn is a strong advocate of pro-life principles. She has taken a strong stand in Congress to protect those who are incapable of protecting themselves. The nation’s largest pro-life organization, National Right to Life, has given Congressman Blackburn a 100 percent rating for her pro-life voting record.
Marsha brings her diverse background as a wife, mother, and grandmother to bear on issues affecting Tennessee’s families. She knows the tough choices that working families have to face every day. She also knows that a large and intrusive federal government often makes the problems a family faces more difficult, not easier.
Congressman Blackburn is a committed advocate for a pro-life policy in the U.S. House and is dedicated to preserving the core conservative principles that protect traditional marriage and the sanctity of life. She believes that a society that values a culture of life must remain equally dedicated to promotion of adoption, and has supported efforts to ease bureaucratic restrictions on qualified Tennessee families interested in opening their homes.
Marsha and her husband, Chuck, live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan (Paul) Ketchel and Chad (Hillary) Blackburn; and two grandsons. Blackburn is a native of Laurel, Mississippi and graduate of Mississippi State University.
The Defender of Life Award: Eric & Susanne Metaxas
Eric Metaxas is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of Bonhoeffer, Miracles, Seven Women, Seven Men, Amazing Grace, and If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty. He has written more than thirty children’s books, including the bestsellers Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving and It’s Time to Sleep, My Love.
He is the host of the Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally syndicated radio program heard in more than 120 cities around the U.S. Metaxas speaks to thousands around the U.S. and internationally each year. He was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an event attended by the President and First Lady, the Vice President, members of Congress, and other U.S. and world leaders.
ABC News has called Metaxas a “photogenic, witty ambassador for faith in public life,” and The Indianapolis Star described him as “a Protestant version of William F. Buckley.”
Susanne Metaxas is the President & CEO OF Avail NYC, formerly known as the Midtown Pregnancy Support Center. Avail is a confidential, nonprofit care network that serves those verifying and making decisions about an unplanned pregnancy and those seeking support after an abortion. Avail offers women choices so they don’t have to go to an abortion clinic to verify their pregnancy. Their free services give women what they want and what they need.
Avail was founded in response to the overwhelming number of abortions that occur each year in New York City. At 37 percent, New York City’s abortion rate is almost twice the national average — a staggering reality. The goal at Avail is “to support, educate, and equip women to make the best choice for themselves and their unborn children: life. Their hope is to reduce the number of abortions in New York City, one life at a time.
Eric and Susanne live in Manhattan with their daughter.