Louise Summerhill, founder of Birthright, died in St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, on August 11. Mrs. Summerhill was seventy-five years of age. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, she came to Canada at the age of seven.
In 1968, recognizing the urgent need to provide a practical alternative to abortion, she started working in a one-room office in East York.
From that one room Birthright flourished in its non-judgmental and compassionate outreach to women faced with difficult pregnancies, and now has 600 centres in Canada, the United States and Africa.
It is estimated that over two million mothers have been helped by Birthright volunteers who provide shelter, clothing, food, information on adoption and social services assistance. Birthright remained steadfast in its respect for the privacy and dignity of its clients.
Mrs. Summerhill received honourary degrees from U.S. universities and from St. Michael’s College, Toronto. In 1988 she received the Temple Award for Creative Alturism in Washington.
Predeceased in 1984 by her husband, Stephen, Louise Summerhill leaves her seven children – Mary, Stephen, John, Anne, Bill, Louise and Stephanie.
Campaign Life Coalition extends to her family its sorrow in their loss and yet rejoices in Louise’s journey to Eternal Life.
Requiescat in Pace.