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Mabel Wadsworth Co-Founder and Former Executive Director Honored by National Abortion Federation

May 11, 2017

Mabel Wadsworth Center’s former and current executive directors, Ruth L. Lockhart and Andrea Irwin, at the National Abortion Federation Awards Lunch.

Several clinical and administrative staff attended the recent annual meeting held by National Abortion Federation (NAF), the professional association of abortion providers, to network, learn, and celebrate.

The highlight of the conference was the membership luncheon where our co-founder and former executive director Ruth L. Lockhart received the C. Lalor Burdick Award, honoring “unsung heroes” whose dedication and contributions have, too often, gone unrecognized outside of their facilities and communities. Linda Griebsch, executive director of Joan G. Lovering Health Center, our sister feminist clinic in Portsmouth, NH, presented Ruth with the award.

In her remarks, Linda described Ruth’s collaborative spirit and strong mentoring of the next generation of feminist activists. She also spoke of Ruth’s commitment to advocating healthcare access for rural communities and women with low income, a tradition we are proud to continue today. Ruth previously served on NAF’s Board of Directors and was instrumental in helping to create Feminist Abortion Network (FAN), the network of independent, not-for-profit feminist abortion providers. Several of Ruth’s FAN colleagues were also there to celebrate with us, including leaders from Preterm in Ohio; Equality Health Center in NH; Feminist Women’s Health Center in GA: and South Wind Women’s Center in OK and KS. We are so proud of Ruth and the amazing work she has done over three decades to provide abortion care in our community and across Maine. Congratulations, Ruth!

Mabel Wadsworth Center’s co-founder and nurse practitioner, Terry Marley-DeRosier, with Dr. Willie Parker

We also had the pleasure of meeting and hearing remarks from Dr. Willie Parker, author of “Life’s Work, A Moral Argument for Choice” chronicling his own journey to provide abortion care because of, not in spite of, his Christian background and faith. Dr. Parker is one of the few providers in the South, focusing his practice exclusively on abortion care in rural communities of color in places that are hostile to reproductive rights.

Don’t miss it – a signed copy of Dr. Parker’s new book will be included in our upcoming silent auction!

We are proud to be members of NAF and salute their work to keep abortion providers safe from clinic violence; to promote safe, high-quality abortion care through training, education, and advocacy; and its financial support of women seeking abortion through its Hotline Fund. Thanks to the Hotline Fund, we are able to help eligible women seeking abortion care pay for their abortions instead of delaying or going without necessary care.