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Hall of Infamy: Marie Stopes

Updated: Jan 29, 2023

Within the pro- and anti-abortion worlds, there are many names that get thrown around and referred to constantly. For those of us who are pro-life, but don’t reeeaaallllly know who the key players (both positive and negative) have been over the years, this series is for you. In this series we will present to you Abortion Resistance’s especially curated characters displayed in our halls of fame and infamy. At each hanging portrait, will supply you with the key facts about these figures both, historical and hysterical.

So yes, the days of nodding in panicked agreement when a peer starts monologuing about people you’ve never heard of, are behind you.

This whistle-stop tour begins down the Hallway of Infamy. And we will stop first in front of this picture of Marie Stopes.

Born on 15th October 1880, Marie Stopes was a Scottish eugenicist whose written words and public pronouncements were devoted to campaigning for women’s rights as regards sexual freedom. She was a prominent figure in academia, being the first female faculty member at the University of Manchester.

One thing that might surprise you however, was that she was actually against abortion (at least publically). In the clinics that she opened, her focus was that of birth-control. In fact, she frequently sought court action against the abortion providers of her time.

However, she was, at her core, a eugenicist and thus busied herself with attempting to carve out a society in which only the best and brightest members could survive. This society did not include people of “racial darkness”. She sought that “inferior”, lower-class women be prevented from having children and also worked to eliminate disabled children. Her efforts in actively discriminating against the marginalised and the most vulnerable has earned her the reputation she has to this day.

She died in 1958, her legacy being that her clinics developed into what is now one of the world's largest abortion organisations, known today as Marie Stopes International.


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