Senior receives national award

Jennie Kushner

One UA senior is not afraid to voice her opinion, which brought her national recognition for outstanding anti-abortion advocacy.

Laura Peters, a political science major and president of Bama Students for Life, was honored in Washington by the Susan B. Anthony List as one of the five “Young Outstanding Pro-Life Leaders.”

The award was presented on March 24 at the Campaign for Life Gala at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel.

“This issue has always been extremely straightforward for me,” she said.  “I believe that life begins at conception and that abortion is consequently murder.”

Bama Students for Life is a statewide network representing over a thousand college students on eight campuses around the state, Peters said. Her work with the group began in fall 2008.

Peters organized the first statewide collegiate anti-abortion conference hosted at the University. She spent the summer interning with Students for Life of America in Washington. Since August, she has been serving as statewide leader of Alabama Students for life.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Laura,” said political science professor Michael New, the faculty adviser for Bama Students for Life. “In my 17 years on college campuses, she is definitely the most dedicated pro-life student activist that I have ever encountered.”

Peters helped to organize the 40 Days for Life campaign, which she said focused on a anti-abortion campaign to peacefully end abortion in America.

“The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America,” Peters said.

Peters said anti-abortion work is normally extremely vague in the sense that it is oftentimes impossible to gauge one person’s effectiveness. She said winning the award was reassuring because it was concrete feedback that acknowledged her work was being noticed.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said she was pleased with Peters’ work.

“There were a number of strong nominees this year,” she said. “Laura’s activism and dedication really distinguished her from her peers. We are very proud to name her of one of our outstanding pro-life leaders in 2010.”

Peters said students should stand up for what they believe.

“It is possible for a relatively small team of dedicated people to have a tremendous impact in various ways, but don’t become discouraged even if you don’t see immediate results,” she said.

While working to reach a goal, Peters said she keeps in mind the words of President Harry Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

“Petty in-fights will undermine the effectiveness of any movement,” Peters said.