marie stopes, gynecology, person of influence, birth control, family planning, pregnancy, women's health, northwest arkansasMany men and women have paved the way for modern gynecology. Dr. Marie Stopes, our person of influence in gynecology, is one.

Dr. Marie Stopes

Dr. Marie Stopes, 1880-1958, was a distinguished academic scientist and the youngest Doctor of Science in Britain at that time. Her book, Married Love, published in 1918, completely changed millions of men and women’s lives. The book offered a detailed description of sexual relations. Its publication allowed the topic, which had long been taboo. to be more readily discussed by both men and women.  

Considered scandalous, churches, medical establishments, and the press condemned the book. But it was immensely popular with the public, selling 2,000 copies within two weeks.

Her most powerful contribution to OB-GYN’s field was her book, Wise Parenthood, The Treatise on Birth Control for Married People. Sixteen pages and free of cost, the book was the first of its kind available to the public. The book explained how contraception worked. Stopes’ simple, concise advice helped countless women worldwide control their fertility and launch the birth control movement.

Launching a Movement

Marie Stopes opened the first family planning clinic in the UK in 1921. Stopes and her husband financed the Mothers’ Clinic for Constructive Birth Control. They employed only female doctors and nurses to make women patients feel comfortable. The clinic offered free services to married women and provided access to birth control for the poor while gathering scientific contraception information. 

The clinic dispensed rubber cervical caps that Stopes designed herself. In 1925, the Mothers’ Clinic moved to central London, and the services expanded to include contraceptives distributed by mail order. Again, Stopes was met with opposition from the Anglican Church, the Catholic Church, and the medical community. She opposed this criticism by distributing pamphlets and making speeches advocating her cause. 

Other Achievements

Dr. Stopes has many other achievements. In addition to her research and writing, engaged in public speaking and responded to letters from women seeking marriage, sex, and birth control advice.

Dr. Marie Stopes died from breast cancer in 1958. In the year of her death, Anglican Bishops at the Lambeth Conference acknowledged the need for birth control, accepting that “procreation was not the sole purpose of Christian marriage.” Her legacy is represented through Marie Stopes International, which bears her name and provides reproductive health services to four million people in over 35 countries at over 452 clinics worldwide.

Do you live in the Northwest Arkansas area? Are you looking for excellent gynecological services from doctors, nurses, and staff who care? Our team is here for you. Schedule your appointment today. 479.582.9268