London - Tuesday, 17th November 2020: Today, Marie Stopes International is putting choice front and centre with a new strategy and a new name – MSI Reproductive Choices.
The global safe abortion and contraception provider’s new name intentionally breaks with its connection to Marie Stopes the woman and heralds MSI’s bold new vision for the future: that by 2030 no abortion will be unsafe and everyone who wants contraception will be able to access it.
Simon Cooke, Chief Executive of MSI Reproductive Choices said:
“Marie Stopes was a pioneer of family planning; however, she was also a supporter of the eugenics movement and expressed many opinions which are in stark contrast to MSI’s core values and principles. The name of the organisation has been a topic of discussion for many years and the events of 2020 have reaffirmed that changing our name now is the right decision. As we look to the future with our new 10-year strategy, we are reflecting our fundamental focus in our new name, MSI Reproductive Choices.”
MSI was founded in 1976 by Dr Tim Black, Jean Black and Phil Harvey, who took over the clinic on the site of the original Marie Stopes’ ‘Mothers Clinic’ in central London and who named the organisation in recognition of the origins of that historic building and Marie Stopes’ pioneering work.
Cooke said: “Our founders believed that by providing high quality, compassionate and comprehensive contraceptive and abortion care, they could support women’s empowerment, and their vision is just as relevant today as it was in 1976.
“This decade has opened with many uncertainties, but what we can be sure of is that the need for sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights will remain universal and urgent. The international community is failing the 25 million women who each year have no choice but to resort to an abortion that is unsafe, and the 230 million women and girls who want access to contraception but can’t get it. If no additional action is taken, the number of women and girls with no access could increase to 300 million by 2030, yet it costs less than 2 pence per day to protect a young woman from an unintended pregnancy, giving her the chance to stay in school, forge a career, support her family or even save her life.”
Closing the gap
For over 40 years, MSI has trusted women to make choices that are right for them, and its new strategy, MSI 2030 ‘Your Body, Your Choice, Your Future’, sets out how it will partner with others to make reproductive choice a reality for all, supporting women and girls to break the cycle of poverty, stay in education and contribute to improving their lives and communities.
What MSI will do?
Over the next 10 years, MSI commits to reaching at least 120 million women and girls with voluntary high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services, focusing on the poorest and most marginalised: women with no alternative access, adolescents, people living in extreme poverty and displaced communities. It will partner across the public and private sector to ensure women are only one contact away from a safe, high-quality service.
In many places, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted access to contraception and abortion services and seen violence against women and girls intensify. However, it has also been a catalyst for positive change, speeding up the introduction of telemedicine, to prevent unnecessary exposure to the virus. MSI will continue to advocate for women to access services on their terms, whether remotely or in a clinic, working with partners to remove barriers and harnessing digital technology to give women control, information and services at their fingertips, thereby ensuring they never feel alone in making their reproductive choices.
How will MSI do it?
As the organised rollback of reproductive healthcare and women’s rights continues, MSI will work with partners to remove unnecessary restrictions that cost lives and will use its role as a service provider to normalise these lifesaving services. It will forge new partnerships with governments and donors to fund high-quality, sustainable and accessible services, making the case for reproductive choice as a key component in building a better, more equal world for all. MSI teams are already rooted in the communities where they work and the organisation commits to further shifting decision-making to its country programmes, elevating the voices of its clients and harnessing local and national connections to lead to more community-driven, client-centred care.
Cooke added: “We know the benefits that diversity brings, enabling our workforce to be truly global both in location and approach and we are committed to developing and increasing regional, national and female leadership.
“With women and girls facing the brunt of daunting global challenges such as inequality, the global pandemic and the impact of the climate crisis, we have a long road ahead of us. But reproductive choice is a key pillar in the drive for gender equality and in a future where women and girls take their rightful place in all aspects of society. We are determined that, alongside our partners, we will leave no-one behind. Only when choice is a reality for each of us, can we create a better, more sustainable world for everyone.”
- Ends -
Notes to Editors
For interviews and further information please contact:
Tel: (+44) 07769 166 516
From Tuesday, November 17th:
The name of the global organisation and Marie Stopes UK will change to MSI Reproductive Choices
About MSI Reproductive Choices
MSI is a global organisation providing contraception and safe abortion services to women and girls in 37 countries. We believe that every woman and girl must determine her own future, and the high-quality services we provide give a woman the power to pursue her dreams for herself and her family.
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