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The late Mabel Sine Wadsworth

Mabel Wadsworth

While earning her RN degree at the University of Rochester, Mabel Sine Wadsworth heard of Margaret Sanger's pioneer work in birth control, and developed her own interest in helping women gain control over their reproductive lives.

When Ms. Wadsworth moved to Bangor in 1946, she joined the Maternal Health League, an organization patterned after Sanger's work promoting contraceptive education.

Mabel Wadsworth's community involvement in volunteer organizations have included the League of Women Voters and the Hospital Auxiliary. She helped form the Abnaki Council of Girl Scouts, served as the first president of the Bangor Counseling Center's Board of Directors, and was active in the development of the Women's Resource Center, out of which evolved the Displaced Homemakers Organization.

In the 1960's, Ms. Wadsworth organized the first Family Planning program in Maine and as the first director of Family Planning in the central Maine area, she used the outreach ideas she had seen employed years earlier by the Maternal Health League. She also set a precedent when she sent a registered nurse to nurse practitioner school so that Family Planning need not rely solely upon physicians to deliver birth control services.

In the early 1970's, Mabel Wadsworth was highly instrumental in the passage of legislation which mandated teenagers the right to confidential contraceptive services. She helped establish the Maine Family Planning Association, and was the first president; she is currently an active member.

Ms. Wadsworth is presently a member of the Board of Directors of Legal Services for the Elderly, and raises funds for the Bangor Symphony, Spruce Run (the local family violence project), the United Way and Red Cross. Still visible in the struggle to maintain reproductive rights for women, Ms. Wadsworth is an original founde rof the Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center, where she inspires and shares that organization's vision of a feminist health center empowering all women, through knowledge and with advocacy, to take control of their lives.

1990 Photograph

Inducted March, 1990