Karen Garnett has been volunteering and working professionally in the pro-life movement for 28 years. Karen served as the founding Executive Director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas (CPLC), the Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas, from 1993-2015. Commissioned by Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann in 1993, Karen and her team built a solid, grassroots-based organization that brings the pro-life message to the churches and schools of the Diocese of Dallas and provides ministry training nationally and internationally. Under Karen’s leadership, the Catholic Pro-Life Committee grew to encompass six departments and nine distinct ministries -- heralded as the largest and most effective diocesan-based pro-life organization and a model for the nation.
In addition to her 22-year leadership of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Karen served as the 2012-14 Chair of the Life & Family Life Department of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, and previously served as a member of the State Coordinating Committee of the Respect Life Directors of the Dioceses of the State of Texas from 2003-2009. As a result of her fruitful pro-life work, Karen has been a conference, commencement, and keynote speaker; in April 2008, Karen attended the arrival ceremony for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on the South Lawn of The White House at the invitation of President George W. Bush, and in 2011 and 2013, attended the signing ceremonies of Texas’ Sonogram Law and omnibus Pro-Life Law HB 2 at the invitation of Governor Rick Perry.
Karen has been interviewed for Catholic Answers Live with Patrick Coffin; Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo; Fr. Frank Pavone’s Life & Choice radio program and Gospel of Life television program; Life Talk; The Good News Hour with Mary Bond on Ave Maria Radio and Spirit and Truth Live on Radio Maria; The Wall Street Journal; The Dallas Morning News, the National Catholic Register; The Houston Chronicle; the French Catholic magazine Pèlerin for its special issue on U.S. Catholics and voting prior to the 2004 elections; Catholic News Agency; LifeSiteNews.com; Inside Catholic; McCuistion, local Dallas television news stations, and French and Sweden television news stations; has been a regular guest on the Guadalupe Radio Network in North Texas; and has been featured in the Texas Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Dallas; Catholic Online; behind bella: The Amazing Stories of Bella and the Lives It’s Changed; 40 Days for Life: Discover What God Has Done . . . Imagine What He Can Do, and Redeemed by Grace: A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back.
In February 2004, Karen was the recipient of the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation of Texas’ Motherhood Award; and in February 2006, was one of six international recipients of Legatus International’s John Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Hall of Fame Award, presented in Naples, Florida by Tom Monaghan, the singular time a diocesan respect life director has been recognized with this award. In October 2009, Karen received the Texas Knights of Columbus ACE Award; and in January 2011, the 2011 Texas Life, Faith & Education Award at the Natural Family Planning Center of Dallas’ Pope Paul VI Humanae Vitae Awards Dinner. Karen was also honored to attend the invitation-only Springtime of Faith Foundation 2011 Rome Summit, a select conference for 25 to 30 international Catholic and Christian leaders to help bring about the new evangelization.
In 2016, following her tenure at the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Karen was given the honorary title of Executive Director Emeritus in recognition of her two decades of service.
In her new chapter of pro-life work, Karen recently founded and is President of Culture of Life Network, devoting her skills and experience to serve the pro-life movement at-large through consulting, speaking, special projects and helping strengthen pro-life information and service networks to support pregnant mothers and their families.
Karen is a native Virginian, moving to Texas during her senior year of high school. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1983, with a minor in Business. Karen and her husband Eddie, married in 1984, have one daughter and four sons, and one child lost to miscarriage. Karen and her family are members of St. Rita Catholic Church and the Christian Community of God’s Delight in Dallas.