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. Doctor Black was a pioneer institution building under the commercial business model and regarded all those who use the services are clients . This approach allowed him to open more clinics in the UK for 1 year , to meet the needs of thousands of women .

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. Marie Stopes International now works in 37 countries around the world

Dr Marie Stopes

Dr. Marie Stopes was a pioneer of family planning and women’s rights who set up the UK’s first family planning clinic. 

Marie Stopes' first marriage was annulled after five years on the grounds of non-consummation and it was this that prompted her interest in female sexuality. She recognised that if she, as a university educated middle-class woman, could lack all knowledge of sexual issues, then poor, less educated women must be even worse off. It was this realisation that prompted her pioneering crusade.

When Marie Stopes wrote her books—Married Love and Wise Parenthood—and then later (with her second husband, Humphrey Roe) opened the first family planning clinic in the UK in 1921, she was attacked by the medical establishment for being female, for not being medically qualified and for employing nurses rather than doctors to consult with most of her clients.

The service delivery philosophies she evolved hold true today throughout Marie Stopes International — gender equality, para-medicalisation and the need to respect and communicate with clients.

The first clinic was set up by Marie Stopes in Holloway, North London before it moved in 1925 to its current location at 108, Whitfield Street in Central London. Marie Stopes and her husband set out to prove that a small team in simple, clean surroundings could provide services to poor women - which they duly did. 

The clinic that she established was taken over by Dr. Tim Black in 1976 when he founded the modern organisation, Marie Stopes International, which bears her name.

Dr. Tim Black, CBE

 Dr. Tim Black died on 11th December 2014. 




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