WASHINGTON, July 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Gerard Health Foundation has unveiled Life Prizes, a program that will award up to $600,000 to those who have succeeded in awakening the conscience of America to uphold and preserve the sanctity of human life through their leadership and advances in public advocacy, scientific research, outreach and public disclosure activities, legal action and other noteworthy achievements. 

The inaugural award will be named the "Norinne A. and Raymond E. Ruddy Memorial Pro-Life Prize" to memorialize Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Ruddy, strong believers in the pro-life cause and parents of Raymond B. Ruddy, a pro-life philanthropist who has long supported and donated to life causes and charities throughout the world. In addition to recognizing those on the front lines of saving lives and who have most significantly advanced pro-life principles and practices, the initiative seeks to encourage and inspire the next generation of youth to accomplish great things in the name of life.

Cathy Ruse, a prominent lawyer in the pro-life movement who has held several high level positions promoting life causes, has accepted the position of Executive Director of Life Prizes. According to Ruse, nomination packages have been sent to over 100 leaders of pro-life organizations and are due back in mid-August. The selection committee will announce Life Prizes winners in October, and awards will be given at a ceremony in Washington, DC in January of 2009.