Betty Morais, long-time member and leader of the ACLU of Northwest Ohio and former executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio, passed away on May 14, 2013 at the age of 90.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Betty received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree from The Ohio State University in psychology. After working in New York City, she moved to Toledo, Ohio and married her husband, Harold, in 1950.

Betty, a passionate and dedicated advocate of civil liberties, devoted much of her life to helping the racially and economically disadvantaged and increasing reproductive rights for women. In 1972, Betty worked as community development specialist for Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo to help families become self-sufficient. Most notably, she acted as executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio for 18 years. Under her leadership, the organization expanded and developed medical and educational services that reached additional counties in Northwest Ohio. Her work gave more women the freedom and resources to make decisions regarding their reproductive health and provided the community with increased services, such as diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal and post-partum care, and sexual education programs.

Betty advocated at the local, state, and national level for public policy to support families and children. The governor appointed Betty to the Ohio Social Services Advisory Board. She created the Ohio Family Planning Providers’ Council to encourage family planning programs to improve services while also reducing costs. Betty helped found Connecting Point, an organization that provided counseling for teens and adolescents with mental illness or substance abuse problems. She also assisted in the formation of Northwest Ohio Community Shares, and was active with other organizations such as the Toledo section of National Council of Jewish Women, the League of Women Voters, and the Women’s Institute on Human Relations of the City of Toledo.

A long-time member and activist with the ACLU of Northwest Ohio, in 1995 the chapter recognized her as civil libertarian of the year.

Read Betty Morais’s obituary in the Toledo Blade.

The Betty Morais Papers, 1976-2004 are held at the University of Toledo, The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections. The finding aid is available at

If you would like to make a gift to the ACLU of Ohio Foundation in memory of Betty, click here.