The Henry J Hyde Defender of Life Award
The Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award was established to honor the legacy of Representative Henry J. Hyde (1924-2007). Hyde, former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was a renowned pro-life leader and author of the original Hyde Amendment. Representative Hyde also served as Honorary Chairman at Americans United for Life. Each year, this prestigious award is presented to an elected official who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the cause of Life.
This year’s award was presented on May 5th, 2010 to House Republican Leader John A. Boehner both for his extraordinary leadership in the fight to prevent taxpayer-funded abortion at the federal level and for his unheralded pro-life work in his home state of Ohio. Leader Boehner was joined at this ceremony by his colleagues in Congress including Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Dan Lipinski (D-IL).
Media and blog coverage of the event:
“It’s never been a political issue for me. It’s been a moral issue.” During the ceremony and afterward in an interview, he choked back tears as he recalled his friendship with the late Rep. Hyde and how his mother gave birth to 11 kids “one at a time.” He added: “She didn’t have to do that,” but still Boehner said that he “was glad I was second.”
Numerous key pro-life advocates attended the event, including Congressmen Trent Franks of Arizona, Chris Smith of New Jersey and William Lipinski of Illinois, one of the handful of pro-life Democrats to oppose the health care bill because of the abortion funding.
During the health care debate, Boehner focused on the new “abortion premium” fee — with the Obama proposal directing insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month.
Boehner shared recollections of his early days in DC and the friendship he forged with Hyde, whom Boehner considers one of his heroes.
During his acceptance speech, Boehner became quite emotional.
“One of the reasons we wanted to give the award to leader Boehner is because he’s been an unheralded stalwart on this issue and as you could see last night, it’s not just something where he happens to be pro-life,” said AUL spokesman Matthew Faraci. “The pro-life issue is of great significance and importance to him.”
“Look, Henry Hyde was a hero of mine,” he said. “I’ve always believed that life begins at conception. I’ve always thought abortion was wrong, and speaking out against it was never difficult. It was a moral position I felt very strongly about.”
This evening, Americans United for Life honored Minority Leader John Boehner by conferring on him the Henry Hyde Defender of Life award. The award, presented by Dr. Charmaine Yoest, is well-deserved. It would be warranted based solely on Boehner’s valiant fight against making taxpayer-funded abortion part of health care reform.
However, the Minority Leader’s pro-life efforts extend much further.
At a rooftop reception in downtown D.C. Wednesday evening, House Minority Leader John Boehner received the 2010 Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award from Americans United for Life. Boehner, a close friend of the late Rep. Hyde, became very emotional during his remarks accepting the award…
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online
I’m delighted that Americans United for Life will be thanking John Boehner for his pro-life leadership tonight in Washington, D.C. They’ll be presenting him with a Defender of Life Award.
At the invitation of Americans United for Life, scores of pro-life activists, Members of Congress, conservative leaders, bloggers, and journalists were on hand last evening to honor Leader John Boehner’s acceptance of the Henry Hyde Defender of Life Award for his steadfast efforts to restrict federal funding of abortion during the debate over Obamacare.AUL President Charmaine Yoest presented a grateful and clearly humbled Boehner the Hyde Award praising his deep pro-life conviction and his leadership on the House floor. Yoest also cited Boehner’s partnership with AUL in an Ohio legal proceeding against the abortion provider Planned Parenthood. In 2008, Boehner and Ohio Republican House members Jean Schmidt, Jim Jordan, Steve Chabot joined AUL in an amicus brief in a involving the failure by Planned Parenthood to provide parental notification of an abortion for a minor in violation of Ohio law.
AUL Media Alert: House Republican Leader Boehner to receive Henry J. Hyde Defender of Life Award
AUL Blog: Last Night’s Defender of Life Award reception
AUL Blog: AUL presents Defender of Life Award to Boehner tonight
A slide show of photographs from the event:
Jessica Shanahan, accepting on behalf of
New Yorkers for Parental Rights
The Honorable James Williamson
State Senator, Oklahoma
Presented by Daniel S. McConchie
AUL Vice President & Executive Director
AUL Life-Saver Award
Kansas Attorney General
AUL Honors the Life of
Victor G. Rosenblum
Award Presented by Clarke D. Forsythe
To Mrs. Louise Rosenblum
AUL’s Lifetime Achievement Award