Elizabeth “Bette” Hamon, a long-time, stalwart pro-lifer, passed away at the age of 89 on Mother’s Day, in Brantford, Ont.
Hamon was the founderess of Halton Pro-Life in 1974, and the organization met in the basement of her home for many years. She spoke in schools and other venues, initiated a Mother’s Day walk at the local hospital, organized rallies and other pro-life events, and trained volunteers.
She was also a coordinator of Women for Life, Faith, and Family, a Catholic women’s group. In 1985, Hamon, representing Women for Faith, addressed the House of Commons justice subcommittee on equal rights for hearings on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She urged “that babies in utero from the moment of conception be granted legal personality” so that parents could not choose to kill them by abortion. She also insisted the Parliament “retain its right to legislate on the matter of abortion,” arguing that Section 15 of the Charter did not create a right to abortion.
Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes remembers Hamon was, like her friend Shirley Pennell and the late Interim columnist Winifride Prestwich, “ahead of their time, seeing what would happen in the future.” They “were prophets,” said Hughes. The Interim reported in November 1985 that Hamon presciently predicted the courts would usurp Parliament to determine abortion policy.
Pennell, in a letter made available to The Interim, wrote to Theresa Mombourquette, one of Hamon’s daughters, in which Pennell recalls her “very special friend” who “immediately tagged her to be a volunteer for Halton Pro-Life” in 1974. Pennell said this “would become, for me, a life-changing event.” Pennell served on HPL’s board of directors with Hamon for 17 years.
Pennell said Hamon “had the strength, the courage, the fierceness to fight the evil and wickedness of abortion providers and do everything possible to save the lives of unborn children.” Pennell said she was encouraged by Hamon to become a public speaker on abortion, but marveled at how her friend and colleague would raise the issue in various venues, including political events where she would “demand politicians respond to her questions.”
Hughes said Hamon paid “closer attention to these issues, followed events more closely and thought critically about them” and therefore often knew what the pro-life and pro-family movement would face in the future. Pennell says, “by subscribing to many newspapers, magazines, United Nations reports, population reports … cross-referencing people and organizations,” Hamon could connect the forces working together to undermine life, family, and religion.
Pennell said it was mostly Hamon’s research into UNICEF’s support for abortion that led to Prestwich’s pamphlet “UNICEF: Guilty as Charged” that was published by Campaign Life Coalition.
Hughes said Hamon was “a faith-filled woman who was full of hope” and “always worked hard” for pro-life.
Hamon was predeceased by her husband Richard. They had seven children and 26 grandchildren.