The charity fighting for every woman worldwide to have children by choice, not chance.

As Marie Stopes International celebrates its 40th anniversary, we look back at the empowering work they have done for women across the globe…

Marie Stopes is the UK’s leading independent provider of sexual and reproductive health services. But what is less well known is the valuable work done by its global organisation, Marie Stopes International, which provides contraception and safe abortion services in 37 countries across the world.

Marie Stopes International was founded in 1976 focusing on one central principle: every woman worldwide has the right to have children by choice, not chance. This November the global organisation celebrates its 40th anniversary.

When it first launched, very few women in developing countries had access to contraception. The lack of reproductive choice resulted in regular deaths during childbirth and left women faced with significant economic and social disadvantages.

In the last 40 years, Marie Stopes International has brought quality, low-cost contraception and safe abortion services to millions of women in some of the world’s poorest countries, providing 21 million women across the globe with a method of contraception just last year.

But there is still more to be done.

Right now 225 million women worldwide are unable to access contraception, making them more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy and drastically reducing their chances of completing an education, building a career, or pursuing their plans and dreams for the future.

Even more shockingly, women in many parts of the world remain unable to access safe abortion services, with over 20 million women resorting to unsafe methods to end a pregnancy each year. This results in a woman dying every 11 minutes.

It is organisations like Marie Stopes International that are pushing for progress, giving women the power to choose when they have children and the freedom to pursue their plans and dreams, for both themselves and their families.

Here’s to 40 years of Marie Stopes International and the enormous difference that it has made to the lives of millions of women worldwide…

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