History of Marie Stopes International

Marie Stopes International was founded in 1976 by Dr Tim Black, CBE and his wife Jean. Their vision was to make family planning services available to women and men around the world, based on their experiences of travelling to countries in Africa and Asia and seeing the impact of unplanned pregnancies first hand.

First clinic

On returning to the UK from Papua New Guinea, Dr Black took over the ailing Marie Stopes Clinic in Central London, which was once the Mothers’ Clinic set up by family planning pioneer Dr Marie Stopes.

Dr Black was a pioneer who built the organisation using a commercial business model and considered family planning users as clients. This approach allowed him to grow the enterprise so that he was able to open more clinics around Britain within a year, serving the previously unmet needs of thousands of women.  

Going global

The British clinics were such a success that shortly afterwards the organisation began working with partners overseas in Sri Lanka and Kenya, and Marie Stopes International now works in 41 countries around the world.

Dr Tim Black, CBE

Read Dr Tim Black's biography on our Board page