Julie Schmit-Albin March for Life Award
August 23, 1956 – August 22, 2020
Julie Schmit-Albin, longtime executive director of Nebraska Right to Life, was a powerful force in the Nebraska pro-life movement, working more than 30 years in the political and legislative arenas. Julie was a woman of courage and strength. Growing up around the State Capitol as a teenager and young woman, she would watch and learn from her dad, Senator Loran Schmit, and developed a deep respect for public office. She would never shy away from her responsibility to speak the truth concerning the dignity of every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death.
Julie grew up on the family farm near Bellwood. After obtaining a degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1979, she married John Albin, with whom she had four children.
While pregnant with her first child, she began her pro-life career by attending the Nebraska Walk for Life. After the Walk, she attended local right to life meetings and founded Nance County Right to Life. Later, she became a board member for Nebraska Right to Life.
In 1989, Julie became the Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life. In this position, Julie directed education, legislation, and political outreach for the organization. She was responsible for organizing the annual Nebraska Walk for Life, a booth at the Nebraska State Fair, Pro-Life Legislative Day, and the Nebraska Right to Life Voter Guides — events which have en- gaged hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans across the state in the pro-life movement. She also served as a board member for National Right to Life Committee, the parent organization for Nebraska Right to Life, for more
than 15 years. This national leadership brought her to the National March for Life many of those years.
Julie’s historical knowledge and experience, coupled with her unapologetic defense of the unborn, made her an invaluable gift to the pro-life community in Nebraska. Her political advocacy efforts contributed to laws in Nebraska that ranged from Parental Notification to successfully passing a ban on human cloning and webcam abortions. She was most proud of the passage of LB1103 in 2010, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which was the first of its kind in the nation. She worked with then-Speaker Mike Flood, sponsor of the bill, to protect babies 20 weeks and beyond from abortion because of the scientific evidence revealing an un- born baby is fully capable of feeling pain.
At the center of Julie’s pro-life advocacy was her undying love for Jesus Christ and her Catholic Faith. A living and personal relationship with Christ was foundational to Julie’s efforts. In her work and through her long battle with cancer, Julie lived a life in Christ.
The influence Julie had on the pro-life movement over these last almost four decades is tremendous. There is likely not a pro-life advocate in Nebraska who has not been somehow affected by her heroic efforts over the years.
John Nolan Warrior for Life Award
Nebraska Right to Life introduces the John Nolan Warrior for Life Scholarship Award. On July 3, 2015, John J. Nolan, died at the age of 94. He was a man of great faith, defined by his love for God, his Catholic faith and country. John’s family wishes to honor his memory by providing a $500 a year scholarship to a high school senior who exemplifies love of God, family and country. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, John gave up a football scholarship to Temple University and enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1943. Lieutenant Colonel John J. Nolan served his country as an Air Force pilot during World War II and dedicated his life to his beloved U.S. Air Force. He served honorably and was an integral participant in so many of the milestones that are now a part of Air Force history. He married his beloved Marie in 1944, before he was assigned overseas. Together, they raised four children. Marie, like so many of our past and current military spouses, made many sacrifices, moving 23 times during John’s 20 year career. John believed in never compromising your values in the face of public pressure or ridicule and worked tirelessly for the protection for the precious unborn. While living in Kansas City, he founded the Fatima Choir, using the proceeds from musical recordings to support the Lighthouse Save a Baby Home. One of his greatest joys was when he was at the home to drop off a donation, he was invited to witness the adoption of an infant baby born at the Lighthouse. The experience remained with him as reminder to never lose hope and to continue working for the unborn. After moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1990, he became involved in the right to life movement, devoting his time as a faithful prayer warrior at the local Planned Parenthood abortion facility. John researched the many facets of the pro-life movement and distributed tapes and educational materials far and wide and worked to support the election of pro-life candidates. He supported Priests for Life, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, served and delivered meals to the elderly, driving them to appointments and Mass. He made rosaries that were sent around the world.