STATEN ISLAND, December 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Students for Life of America (SFLA) announced Tuesday that Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, will be honored with their 2013 “Defender of Life” award.

Fr. Pavone will receive the honor January 26 at SFLA’s annual National Youth Conference in Bethesda, MD.

“Throughout Father Frank’s ministry he has been a leader, a visionary, and a courageously outspoken voice for the preborn,” SFLA said in a statement.

“His ground-breaking work exposing the true horrors of abortion through images of the aborted child, his countless hours standing and praying outside of abortion facilities offering women in crisis real help, and his great compassion for the women and men left with the heartache of abortion have inspired a generation to enter into the pro-life movement.”

Father Pavone has served as the national director of Priests for Life since 1993. He also heads the National Pro-Life Religious Council. He was ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal John J. O’Connor in 1988. After serving five years in parish ministry, the Cardinal released him to do pro-life ministry full-time.

“I am so honored and so happy to be receiving this award,” Father Pavone said. “We know that youth are not only the future of the pro-life movement, they are vital to its work right now. I have met so many of the Students for Life across America, and they inspire me! Priests for Life and our Youth Outreach Director Bryan Kemper have been working closely with Students for Life and we expect this partnership to grow and flourish.”