Norma Scarborough, was the sensible soul of the pro-choice movement in Canada, died April 2. A mother of five children, she had compassion and a helping hand for the unwillingly pregnant. She was a founding member of CARAL and its president for several very important years, 1984 – 92. Thus she was of of the people supporting Dr. Henry Morgentaler in his struggle to bring safe, legal abortion to Canadian women. In January of 1988 Canada’s Supreme Court struck down the criminal law on abortion because it violated women’s right to life, liberty, and security of the person. In other words, the law coerced women and put them in danger.
Louis DuLude recalls:
Once, I asked Norma why she cared so much about women’s right to an abortion. She told me that in the 1940s, when she was in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, one day she came back to the barracks and found a colleague moaning in bed. There was blood everywhere but the woman hadn’t summoned help because she was afraid to be punished because she had had an illegal abortion. Norma told me that the woman bled to death. She never forgot it. Asked later to help start a movement to legalize abortion, she didn’t hesitate for a minute before saying “yes.”