Youth Blog

Youth Blog

Marie Stopes? More like Marie Stopped…

Within the last 14 days, two African countries in which Marie Stopes has committed illegal abortions have managed to reject the organization’s explicit abortion agenda. If two can do it, why not more?

Founded in memory of a renowned British eugenicist, Marie Stopes International committed more abortions than any other single organization in the world. Having executed 4.1 million abortion and post-abortion care procedures in 2017, Marie Stopes actually outdoes the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which reported committing approximately 1.2 million abortion and post-abortion care procedures in the same year.

Marie Stopes is active in 37 different countries, providing abortion with a transactional intensity that would rival the ambition of the wolves of Wall Street. It is important to note that abortion is illegal and/or restricted in these countries. Also of note – almost half of those countries are African.  

And Marie Stopes isn’t shy about their illegal abortion activities. In 2007, Paul Cornellisson, Marie Stopes Program Director for South Africa, openly stated the following at the Global Safe Abortion Conference in London, UK:

“… we do illegal abortions all over the world.”

However, the good news is that Marie Stopes’ sphere of influence just went down by 2 countries within the span of two weeks! Both Kenya and Niger have officially banned all abortion related services provided by the so-called “charity.”

On November 14th of this year, the Kenyan government ordered Marie Stopes to stop offering abortion services. Abortion remains illegal in Kenya except to save the life of the mother or in cases where the “health of the mother is in danger.” The organization is also required to submit, within 60 days, a proposal for how the organization plans to bring itself into compliance with the regulations of the Kenyan Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (a regulatory board with authority from the Kenyan government to regulate the practice of medicine and dentistry).

The order to cease and desist follows on the heels of an additional complaint that Marie Stopes Kenya was running radio advertisements that blatantly advocated for abortion in their clinics.

This week, Niger also followed suit. Similar to Kenya, Niger allows for abortion only in cases where the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. The ban that was issued calls for the immediate closure of two Marie Stopes centres in Niamey, the capital, and in Maradi, the country’s economic hub. The statement reads: “the voluntary interruption of pregnancy should never be considered as a method of contraception, in any cases.”

Now, what Canadians need to know is that YOUR tax dollars have been funding these illegal abortions. In 2017, Canada pledged $4 million to Marie Stopes International during the She Decides International Conference in Brussels. But it gets worse. On November 13, 2018, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Canadian Minister of International Development, committed $104.4 million at the International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda. What is it for? The money is to be spent on “family planning, advocacy and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), while improving access to safe and legal abortion. All projects will also ensure the integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) into countries’ health systems.” $8 million of that pledge is going directly to Marie Stopes International (on top of the earlier pledge of $4 million).

Canadian tax dollars should never be used to pay for abortion, at home or abroad. However, the deliberate funding of an organization by our government, in full knowledge of its illicit activities, is a further assault on the rights of those they claim to be helping. If Canada’s involvement in funding an organization that is breaking laws bothers you, you are not alone and there is something you can do.

Big change starts small. Contact your local MP and urge them to act on this issue. Make your concerns known.