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Choice and Chocolate Event Draws Dozens


BANGOR - A Bangor based women's health center was bustling Thursday night for an annual event, one that involved chocolate! However, many gathered at Mabel Wadsworth because of the topic: pro-choice.

The 41st Anniversary of the supreme court ruling in Roe v Wade was celebrated Thursday - a verdict allowing women the right to choose.


Many gathered at Mabel Wadsworth Women's Health Center to join the effort of silencing the stigma of abortion through the '1 in 3 Campaign'.


"We're talking about how one in three women will have an abortion in lives," Abbie Strout, education and outreach coordinator for Mabel Wadsworth, says. "We're really trying to move away from talking about it as a political issue."


'1 in 3 Campaign's' strongest mission is to end the stigma about abortion, which can be done through storytelling and sharing of personal stories.


"The personal is political, and it really helps people connect to see the woman behind the story," Shannon Brenner, co-chair of the UMaine Student Women's Association, and promoter for the campaign, says.


Those stories posted online and in books from the campaign, but there was another stigma that Brenner focused on, that within the pro-choice community.


"A lot of times you'll hear people says 'I'm pro-choice, but I would never do this myself. This is something that other women do,'" Brenner says. "Those comments can stigmatize the women even further, and make them feel judged and isolated from people who are supposed to be supporting them."


"We want to get the word out that abortion is not something that happens to strangers, it's not just anybody," Susan Riley, a woman who attended the presentation, says. "They're people that we know, people in the community, and I think it's important to get it out of the shadows."


As for the role of chocolate, "We just love chocolate," Strout says. "It's wintertime, and it just feels good to cozy up and eat chocolate, and celebrate reproductive freedom and our autonomy." 

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