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We work with women and girls all over the world, empowering them to choose when or whether to have children.

Globally, there are 214 million women without access to contraception, this has led to a healthcare crisis.

In 2017 alone, an estimated 99 million women fell pregnant unintentionally.

Of this figure, 25 million resorted to unsafe abortions to end their pregnancy, leading to up to 31,000 women dying from complications and millions more left seriously ill or long-term disabled.

The numbers should shock us, but they don’t tell the whole story. For behind every number is the story of an individual woman being denied the right to control her body, her life and her future. 


We serve women and girls all over the world who are at a stage in their lives when they feel an unintended pregnancy would be too high a price to pay.

We change lives, one woman at a time

At Marie Stopes International we provide women and girls with contraception, safe abortion and post-abortion care services, so they can choose when or whether to have children.

But our services aren't simply about preventing women from getting pregnant - we believe it’s also about empowering women through choice. Having a choice about the number of children she has, and when she has them, can truly transform a woman’s life. It means being able to continue with education, pursue a career, care for the children she already has, or simply space her pregnancies to improve her own health.

And those benefits won’t stop there - when a woman has access to this vital healthcare she and her children are usually healthier, better educated and have better economic prospects. This in turn can transform whole societies as women are freed up to participate more fully in their communities and contribute to the economy.

Click to see our International Women's Day photo gallery showcasing the diverse lives of the women we serve.

Reaching those most in need

We want to make sure that as many women as possible can get hold of our services, so we work particularly hard to reach those who are most marginalised and under-served.

Almost 80% of the women we reach can be defined as 'high impact', meaning they fall into at least one of the following groups, those:

  • Living in extreme poverty.
  • Aged 15-24 and facing added challenges such as teenage marriage or age discrimination.
  • Not currently using any form of contraception.
  • Living in under-served areas without access to services, such as rural villages or urban slums.

Women who belong to these groups often face multiple obstacles when it comes to accessing contraception and reproductive healthcare. So when we’re able to reach them we see the highest impact, the ripples of which extend to every corner of society.

In 2017, over 10% of the clients we reached were aged under 20, but we know we must do more to reach young women and girls.

How we serve young people
If you empower a woman, life becomes well for the whole family
Dr Peter
Tanzania outreach doctor

Gifty Danwah – Market porter and client

I hadn’t used contraception before Marie Stopes. I said to myself this will change my life, and it has.

Mariam Haruna

"We had to run. All the pain of running is more than the pain of this insertion."

Jane Vika Alfayo – young client

I didn’t want to give birth. I just felt like I wanted to abort my pregnancy, as I was in school, I was young, and I didn’t know how to take care of a baby.

Umah Dumbuya

"Getting an education was my dream, and taking contraception has allowed me to pursue that."

Margaret Louve

“Having many children was never part of my plan,” says Margaret Louve, but a lack of consistent contraceptive uptake meant she became trapped in a succession of unplanned pregnancies.

Christiana Kposowa

Christiana planned on going to university but, with two small babies already, falling pregnant a third time was the last thing she needed.

Paulina Marko Dahai – outreach client

My daughters must study. Education is the most important thing. I want them to go further than I did – this is my dream.

Philomena – young client

I want to learn how to sew clothes so I can make money and take care of my children. Having the implant will give me time to learn.

Scola Daffi Akonaay – outreach client

I didn’t know about the clinic before today. I came here for my baby to be vaccinated and saw that they were offering family planning services.

Dina Appiah

Without Marie Stopes I don’t know where I would be, maybe I’d be dead.

Naomi Mwansa – young client

I was scared to go to prison. I was worried about the number of years I would spend there. I was really scared.

Chap Si Yim

“I don’t need to worry about unwanted pregnancy and I can keep working to support my family.”

Tailoring our services to women

To make our services truly effective we listen to women and understand the realities of their lives. In some of the countries we work, women defer to their husbands to make decisions about contraception. In others, religious or cultural restrictions may confine them to the home. In situations like these the way we reach women will differ – we don’t do one-size fits all approaches.

Our services

We’ve been providing life-changing reproductive health services for over 40 years. We work hard to make sure these services are high quality, affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

Our services

Our approach

We don’t do one-size-fits-all approaches. We work hard to understand our clients and their unique challenges, tailoring our services and solutions accordingly.

Our approach

Our impact

Our mission is life-changing for millions of women around the world, and in 2017 we reached more than ever before.

0 million

unintended pregnancies averted

0 million

unsafe abortions averted

£0 million

in direct healthcare costs averted

The future

We will be there for women for the long term, and we want to continue being their preferred choice. That means we will keep giving a voice to women and girls, using their insights to inform the quality of our care and services.

Over the next five years we intend on reaching even more women and girls, preventing 58 million unintended pregnancies, averting 34 million unsafe abortions, and 118,900 maternal deaths.

Our Scaling-Up Excellence strategy sets out in more detail how we’re going to reach record numbers of women.

Read our global strategy

Empower millions of women globally to take control of their fertility and futures.

Your donation will help us to provide contraception, safe abortion and family planning services to millions of women and communities worldwide.