Stopes' New Gospel, Stopes' New Name

Marie Stopes International has just changed its name to MSI. Like a great many prominent organisations, it is embarrassed by history; associations with its founder are causing corporate blushing. Of course, it knew about them all along, but the current fashion is to express public sorrow for the past’s wickedness. Ms Stopes wrote sex manuals and campaigned for women’s rights, being Manchester University’s first female academic. Unfortunately, she was also an advocate of eugenics in order "to furnish security from conception to those who are racially diseased". Perchance Herr Hitler found inspiration in her work; they certainly exchanged affectionate letters, she attending a Berlin eugenics conference in the mid-thirties. Well Marie Stopes International has lost patience with its own founder’s unpleasant ideas. The change of name makes the organisation feel much better.

Still, I’m a little puzzled. It claims to be ‘helping people with their reproductive health options for over 40 years.’ In another place, it describes its mission 'to allow women around the world to choose when they have children'. These are euphemisms for being a leading abortion provider in 37 countries, ‘terminating’ 4 million pregnancies in 2015 alone. So why am I puzzled? Essentially, its original name association was far better suited. Stopes and her Nazi friends believed in killing the weak and undesirable; MSI kills the undesirable while they’re weak. Is your baby disabled? Interrupting your career? Realised that changing nappies isn’t your thing? Just thought better of it? MSI have four clinics in Greater Manchester alone to offer you your very own, tailor-made final solution.

Interestingly, Stopes did not confine her literary endeavours to ‘women’s health’; she authored A New Gospel to All Peoples in 1922. Ruth Hall’s 1977 biography quotes her addressing Anglican bishops in the following manner: “I speak to you in the name of God. You are his priests. I am his prophet. I speak to you of the mysteries of man and woman."

A prophetess of Molech if ever there was one.

Image by H. Hach from Pixabay