Her words are recorded in the Congressional record, and her résumé boasts the title of Alternate Director to the National Right to Life board of directors. She worked as a sidewalk counselor, and interned with the Susan B. Anthony List, a Washington-based pro-life group. Now, senior Laura Wegmann is being recognized for her service to the pro-life cause.
According to the group’s website, the award is given to “young women who embody the pro-life legacy of Susan B. Anthony.”
President of Indiana Right to Life Mark Fichter nominated Wegmann for this award.
“It was a very pleasant surprise and very exciting to realize that someone from Indiana is going to be receiving such a prestigious award,” Ficther said.
Cathie Humbarger, communications director for the national Right to Life, is excited to see Wegmann’s accomplishments.
“I have known Laura from the beginning,” Humbarger said. “I have watched her be active in the cause and prepare herself to be an advocate. It has been a pleasure to see her strength of conviction and passion for the cause resulting in this award, because she’s certainly deserving of it.”
Wegmann’s work in the movement dates back to her high school days, when she began working as a sidewalk counselor at a local abortion clinic.
“I’m glad I started working there,” Wegmann said. “That moment of the woman going in is what it’s all about.”
As a junior in high school, Wegmann represented Indiana in the National Pro-Life Oratory contest. Her speech refuting the practice of physician-assisted suicide was read before members of Congress on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the words were later recorded in the Congressional record.
“I have the distinct pleasure of saying Nancy Pelosi had to hear my speech,” Wegmann said.
“Laura did a wonderful job as a high school student presenting a strong case for defending the sanctity of life,” Fichter said. “Watching her engaging in such roles as Susan B. Anthony List and pro-life activities at Hillsdale, I have been impressed and see in her a young leader who has enormous potential as a leader in the years to come.”
In the past few years, Wegmann has served in many different positions within the movement. Wegmann currently serves Fichter as the alternate director to the National Right to Life board of directors on behalf of Ficther. She attends the National Right to Life board of directors meetings and submits votes and updates the board of directors on the progresses in Indiana.
Wegmann worked for the Susan B. Anthony List as an intern with their political coordinator during the summer of 2011. Over the semester, she spent five hours every day working remotely for the communications director.
This semester, Wegmann is promoting a program for the Indiana Right to Life. Called “Friends For Life,” the training course is directed towards teaching college-age students how to articulately defend the pro-life message, and effectively refute pro-abortion rhetoric.
Wegmann wants to turn her involvement into a career in the pro-life movement, primarily helping them with their marketing and advertising.
“I hope to help work on their aesthetics,” she said. “If we fail to package the message appropriately, we lose an audience.”
While she appreciates how energetic members of the movement are, she believes they have fallen short in presenting the pro-abortion case in a winsome manner.
“I’d like to use my aesthetic sense and my art major to help,” she said. “The question is not if the movement ought to be judged by packaging; that is beside the point. They are being judged in that way, so it does a disservice to the truth if we don’t present it in the best light.”
Having worked in both the state and national level of the movement, it is apparent to Wegmann that the strongest groups are at the state level. Her ultimate goal is to return to the state level, bringing organization and appealing images to the movement.
“But I know I can’t do that with only enthusiasm,” she said. Wegmann plans on returning to Washington, D.C. in the summer. She applied to a few programs and is hoping to work in policy, gain a few yeas of experience, and then return to the state level.
“She will bring to the table the understanding and vision of a new generation of leadership,” Fichter said. “That is very much needed in the pro life movement which tends to be dominated by people of 40 years or above.”
Humbarger is looking forward to seeing Wegmann’s future in the movement.
“I see her using her gifting and education and experience to advocate for the unborn, wherever that path leads,” Humbarger said. “She’s capable of representing the cause in D.C. or the state level and I would trust her to be the leader in the next wave, the students who are going to win the cause.”