Wednesday 7th October 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Who Was Marie Stopes?”

January 14, 2014 Frontpage No Comments


(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the booklet “Marie Stopes International Exposed,” e-mail him at

+    +    +

Marie Carmichael Stopes was the United Kingdom’s answer to America’s Margaret Sanger. Both women lived during the same era. Both were vocal eugenicists and birth control pioneers in their respective nations during the 1920s and 1930s, and their writings show that their views on eugenics and racial purity were identical. Most important, Stopes’ legacy has done just as much to spread birth control and abortion across the globe as has Sanger’s International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Marie Stopes was born in 1880 to parents of the privileged European idle class. Her father, Henry, was an architect and her mother, Charlotte, was a renowned expert on Shakespeare, as well as being the first female graduate of a Scottish university.
The Stopes family was very well off, and they traipsed all over Europe pursuing their personal interests. The twin luxuries of time and money gave Marie the means to concoct her bizarre theories about eugenics and parenthood.
Marie Stopes was a eugenicist long before she was a birth controller. She was a life member of the Eugenics Society and was a member of the Malthusian League. In 1921 she founded her own Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress (CBC), and most of her fortune was left to eugenics organizations.
One of the basic principles of the CBC was that “the haphazard production of children by ignorant, coerced, or diseased mothers is profoundly detrimental to the race,” and that “many men and women should be prevented from procreating children at all, because of their individual ill-health, or the diseased and degenerate nature of the offspring that they may be expected to produce.”
In order to put its philosophy into action, the CBC located its birth control clinics in poor and minority areas, just as Planned Parenthood does now in the United States. The first of these birth control clinics was also the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It was named the London’s Mother’s Clinic, and is still operating today.
In 1922, Stopes began to publish The Birth Control News. Her emphasis was on improving the race, and the motto of her organization was “Babies in the Right Place.” The slogan of The Birth Control News was printed on a lantern: “Birth Control: Joyous and Deliberate Motherhood, a Sure Light in Our Racial Darkness.”
]Stopes attended the Third Reich’s International Congress for Population Science in Berlin in 1935, two years after Hitler became chancellor of Germany, and long after his racist and anti-Semitic views had become well-known to the world. Four years later, after Germany had annexed Austria and occupied Czechoslovakia, she sent a collection of her mediocre poems entitled Songs for Young Lovers to der Fuehrer, along with a fawning letter saying, “Dear Herr Hitler; love is the greatest thing in the world, so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?”
In 1952 Stopes was involved in the organization of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which was established and initially housed rent-free in the offices of the Eugenics Society.
Stopes’ eugenicist views and hatred of the poor are well-documented. In 1919, she urged the National Birth Rate Commission to support the mandatory sterilization of parents who were diseased, prone to drunkenness, or of “bad character.” She also demanded that the “sterilization of those totally unfit for parenthood be made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory.”
She also said: “Utopia could be reached in my life-time had I the power to issue inviolable edicts. . . . I would legislate compulsory sterilization of the insane, feebleminded . . .revolutionaries . . . half-castes.”
Marie Stopes’ writings prove that she supported the practice of both positive eugenics (through encouraging more children among the “fit”), and negative eugenics (through sterilization and birth control among the “unfit”):
Stopes disapproved of all the “unfit weaklings and diseased individuals who threaten the race” and “the less thrifty and conscientious who bred rapidly and produced children weakened and handicapped by physical as well as mental warping and weakness.”
During World War I, she complained that “all the fine, clean strong young men…who go out to be killed…they have no sons to carry on the race, but the cowards and unhealthy ones who remain behind can all have wives and children.”
She also railed against a society that “allows the diseased, the racially negligent, the thriftless, the careless, the feeble-minded, the very lowest and worst members of the community, to produce innumerable tens of thousands of stunted, warped, and inferior infants.” She noted that “we as a race slide at an ever increasing speed toward the utter deterioration of our stock.”
Perhaps most startlingly, she said that, if only the world would adopt her eugenic vision, we would see an “entirely new type of human creature, stepping into a future so beautiful, so full of the real joy of self-expression and understanding that we here today may look upon our grandchildren and think almost that the gods have descended to walk upon the earth.”
At least Stopes was consistent in her application of her belief system — an amalgam of idealism, elitism, and eugenics — by applying it even to her own family.
She forced her son Harry to wear a skirt until he was 11 because she did not believe in the “ugly and heating-in-the-wrong-places garments which most men are condemned to wear,” and for the same reason forbade Harry to ride a bicycle.
When poor Harry flouted the principles of eugenics by marrying a nearsighted woman, Marie Stopes not only refused to attend the wedding, she cut him out of her will.
She said of Harry’s wife, the former Mary Eyre Wallace, “She has an inherited disease of the eyes which not only makes her wear hideous glasses so that it is horrid to look at her, but the awful curse will carry on and I have the horror of our line being so contaminated and little children with the misery of glasses. . . .  Mary and Harry are quite callous about both the wrong to their children, the wrong to my family, and the eugenic crime.”
Regardless of her ill-treatment of him, Harry Stopes-Roe is carrying on his mother’s work. He is currently vice-president of the British Humanist Association. According to The Guardian, “He now recognizes overpopulation as the most important practical moral problem.”
Harry’s mother clung to her eugenics philosophy long after the pseudo-science had been thoroughly discredited. In 1956, two years before she died, Marie Stopes asserted that one-third of British men should be forcibly sterilized, “starting with the ugly and unfit.”
Marie Stopes’ cruelty and self-centeredness were not limited to her poor son Harry. She had her first marriage annulled due to her husband’s impotence, and hopped from bed to bed for years. Like other “progressives” of her day and ours, she had little use for the family, the Church, or the sanctity of human life. Self-fulfillment was her tawdry and inadequate god.
The abortion industry in particular and liberalism in general have effectively erased Stopes’ racism and hatred of the poor from the collective memory of an inattentive and uncaring public, primarily because she is a historical reflection of the latte-sipping left. She has been so thoroughly “rehabilitated” that readers of the major British left-wing newspaper The Guardian voted her “Woman of the Millennium” in 1999.
The British elite class is working hard to sanitize Stopes’ legacy, just as the American elitists are laboring to cleanse Margaret Sanger’s. Beginning in October 2008, Stopes appeared on one of Great Britain’s 50-pence stamps. She was chosen by an all-female, all-feminist committee to be one of six women pioneers in the Royal Mail’s “Women of Distinction” collection. After thousands of outraged British citizens objected to Stopes’ virtual beatification by the Royal Mail, an RM spokesman refused to say how the decision to include Stopes was made.
Marie Stopes International, of course, also refused to comment on the controversy, employing the standard pro-abortion tactic of just hoping that the controversy would blow over.
Reginald Ruggles Gates, Marie Stopes’ first husband, claimed that she was “supersexed to a degree which was almost pathological.” Judging by her activities, Stopes certainly appears to have been a sex addict, and this preoccupation has undoubtedly been transferred to Marie Stopes International, an organization that makes Planned Parenthood look like a bunch of blushing virgins by comparison.

+    +    +

Next article: More on “Profile: Marie Stopes International.”

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.

The Secret Meeting of the Papal Trip

Washington, D.C. One meeting during Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to America has remained secret. Until now. It was, arguably, the most significant meeting, symbolically, of the entire trip. It should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the public, both…Continue Reading

Angry Pope Blasts Mayor of Rome as a ‘Pretend Catholic’

Pope Francis raised eyebrows in Italy on Tuesday by slapping down the left-leaning mayor of Rome as someone who “pretends to be Catholic”. The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino — a man the Italian media love to hate — further…Continue Reading

Bishop Fellay Petitions Pope Francis

A petition to Pope Francis: uphold marriage! The Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X has just published a petition to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asking him to publicly defend the institution of holy matrimony. Bishop Fellay…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined?

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined? There appear to be two main contingents at the Synod: one favoring the proclamation of the fullness of the truth to be taught with clarity and Christian charity; and the other favoring mercy at any and all costs October 06, 2015 03:00 EST Fr Nicholas Gregoris Pope Francis arrives for the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct.…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 2


(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. opened the daily press conference by explaining what had happened in the morning session. He said that the general secretary of the Synod, Cardinal Baldisseri, had explained “certain processes of the methodology” and its new elements. Lombardi said that Pope Francis also thought it was important for him to make a contribution and so he too said a few words. “The Holy Father thought it important to say that…Continue Reading

Card. Alencherry: pastors called to prophetic role

(Vatican Radio) The third General Congregation of the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened on Tuesday morning with the celebration of Terce (mid-morning prayer). The homily for the Liturgy was delivered by Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Major Archbishop and President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church. In his homily, Cardinal Alencherry reminded the Synod Fathers that “the pastors of the Church in the present times are called to take…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 1


(Vatican Radio) The first of the daily press conferences to report on the proceedings of the Synod of the Family took place at 1pm Rome time on Monday. The Synod began on Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica and the first session sat on Monday morning. Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, was accompanied by Cardinal Péter Erdö from Hungary – who is the…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Ideal Artist

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Santayana, George. The Life of Reason: Reason in Art. A critical edition, co-edited by M.S. Wokeck and M.A. Coleman. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2015. lvi + 276 pp. The Life of Reason is Volume VII, Book Four, of the Collected Works of George Santayana. Professor James Gouinlock of Emory University…Continue Reading

Why Isn’t Kim Davis A Hero To The Left?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have been waiting for weeks now for the keepers of the flame in the liberal establishment to express some begrudging admiration for Kim Davis’ decision to go to jail, rather than violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky. Or at least some ambiguity over what…Continue Reading

What’s In A Motto?

By DONALD DeMARCO Pope St. John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio is a thorough and thoughtful discussion of the harmony between “faith” and “reason.” It does not break new ground but reaffirms to a modern audience what St. Thomas Aquinas and more recent thinkers such as Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson have carefully…Continue Reading

Non-Catholic Communities As “Means Of Salvation”

By FR. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Many dissident traditionalists claim that Vatican Council II’s Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio (UR) is irreconcilable with traditional Catholic doctrine. The passage most commonly singled out in support of this claim is the affirmation in article 3 of the Decree that “the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Recently we got a new pastor who has resumed the holding of hands during the Our Father that our previous pastor had eliminated. Has this now become part of the liturgy? And what is the purpose of the holding hands to begin with? Also, what do you think of “Polka Masses”? — C.G., Wisconsin. A. No, holding hands during…Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Worth More Than Gold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11 Heb. 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that no creature is concealed from God, but that everything is naked and exposed to Him to whom we must render an account. We know from the Gospels that our Lord, on several…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading