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Bust unveiled of Marie Stopes, pioneer of sexual health

PUBLISHED: 11:41 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 September 2010

Exactly 50 years after the death of family planning pioneer Dr Marie Stopes, leading sexual health charity Marie Stopes International (MSI) will be unveiling a bust in her honour.  The ceremony will take place on Thursday October 2 at Marie Stopes House i

Exactly 50 years after the death of family planning pioneer Dr Marie Stopes, leading sexual health charity Marie Stopes International (MSI) will be unveiling a bust in her honour. The ceremony will take place on Thursday October 2 at Marie Stopes House in Camden, a clinic which was formerly owned and managed by Dr Stopes herself.

This unique event will be attended by her son Harry Stopes-Roe, who will unveil the bust and give a short speech in honour of his mother. Other generations of the Stopes family will also be present, including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The event will also coincide with the Royal Mail's launch of a commemorative stamp of Dr Marie Stopes on October 14th.

"Marie was a remarkable pioneer for family planning and women's rights and we are marking the 50th anniversary of her death by coming together to celebrate her life and work," comments Dana Hovig, Chief Executive at MSI.

Dr Stopes was and still is a controversial figure. She set up the UK's first ever family planning clinics including the centre on Whitfield Street where the bronze bust will be unveiled on Thursday. All women, no matter what class, were welcome at this clinic and offered free birth control. The building was actually bombed twice during the Blitz of 1940, but repairs were quickly made and work continued as usual.

"Due to her tireless work and highly publicised campaigning, Marie managed to open up discussion about sex and change public opinion at a time when the Church, society and the medical establishment were opposed to birth control," said Hovig.

"Her drive, determination and pioneering spirit lives on at Marie Stopes International, which currently operates nearly 500 clinics in 43 countries. We are proud of and take inspiration from her many achievements."

Marie Stopes International is at 108 Whitfield Street, London, W1

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