We're celebrating the 90th anniversary of Marie Stopes House - Marie Stopes’ first clinic in central London and one of the first ever family planning services in Europe.
Today - on Thursday 15 October (Marie Stopes’ birthday) - we're marking the milestone by launching 90 Years of Choice; a short film clip celebrating the extraordinary advances in reproductive healthcare and women’s rights that have taken place over the last nine decades.
Maries Stopes UK has also created an interactive timeline looking at the history of women's reproductive rights in the UK - take a look at Marie Stopes UK.
In 1925, family planning pioneer Marie Stopes opened her clinic on Whitfield Street, which offered contraceptive methods and advice to some of London’s most vulnerable women, free of charge. This was a ground breaking move, as it gave many women choice for the first time over the number of children they had, or whether to have them at all.
Ninety years on, unprecedented social change means that all women in the UK can choose to access safe, highly effective methods of contraception, free at the point of care. Marie Stopes House remains a working clinic today, supporting more than 2,500 women and men each year with safe abortion services, long-acting reversible contraception, and STI testing.
Our work worldwide tells us there is still much more to do though. Last year an incredible 18 million people across the globe were using a method of contraception provided by Marie Stopes International. However, there is still huge unmet need when it comes to contraception and safe abortion - it's estimated there are 225 million women in the developing world who want access to contraception but can’t get it.
Genevieve Edwards, Director of Policy at Marie Stopes UK said:
“We want to acknowledge that, for nine decades since then, successive generations of women have stood up for their right to choose. Yet even today, there are groups who want to force the clock back, and deprive women of their hard-won rights.”
“At Marie Stopes International, we believe in a world where every birth is wanted, and we will continue to stand with women, shoulder to shoulder, for as long as it takes to make that vision a reality.”
Join the conversation on social media with #90YearsofChoice and help us celebrate an amazing milestone.