By Hilary White

LONDON, September 2, 2008 ( ) – Marie Stopes, the notorious early 20th century contraception campaigner, eugenicist and anti-Semite, did for Britain what Margaret Sanger did for the US:  preached the doctrines of eugenics and promoted contraception and sterilisation to achieve “racial hygiene.” So successful was she at altering British society in favour of her eugenics doctrines, the British government has chosen her to be included in a “Women of Distinction” line of stamps.

The Royal Mail announced this weekend that the face of Marie Stopes, who advocated the sterilisation of poor women to promote the “welfare of the race”, will feature on the 50p stamp. The stamps will be available beginning 14 October 2008.

Columnist Gerald Warner wrote on his weblog at the Daily Telegraph, “Considering the hysteria nowadays attaching to issues of race, at first sight it seems extraordinary that Stopes should have earned commemoration on a stamp.”

“To the [politically correct] establishment, however, even racist peccadilloes can be ignored to honour a pioneer who helped promote the anti-life culture and relieve women of the intolerable trauma of giving birth to a child with a cleft palate.”

Marie Stopes was a major figure in normalising eugenics doctrines in Britain and abroad one result of which has been that, under current British legislation, a child deemed by a doctor to have a “serious” defect may be legally killed by abortion up to the end of the natural gestation period.

Warner’s comments have been re-published and expanded upon by many in the British Catholic bloggosphere. Fr. Ray Blake, a popular priest blogger and pastor of St. Mary Magdalen parish in Brighton commented, “I am afraid any items of post arriving here with this stamp on it will be returned to the sender. I hope other bloggers take this up, especially amongst the Jewish community.”

Christopher Howse, another Telegraph writer, criticised the choice this weekend, calling it “absurd.” “It is hard to think the postage stamp committee was fully aware of the craziness of Miss Stopes’s life and ideas.” Howse noted that when her only son Harry announced his engagement to a woman who wore spectacles, Stopes became furious, writing, “I have the horror of our line being so contaminated and little children with the misery of glasses.”   

Born in 1880, Stopes was a paleobotanist by education, but it is her legacy as a promoter of eugenics, Nazi racial theories, mandatory sterilisation for poor people and artificial contraception – what the Royal Mail calls “family planning” – for which she is best remembered. Marie Stopes International is a major engine of the world’s abortion and population control movement, with nearly 500 centres in 38 countries.

In 1921, Stopes opened Britain’s first “family planning” clinic, offering artificial contraception to married women of the lower classes in an attempt to control the population of the poor, whom she considered to be polluting the race. Reflecting the racist message of the eugenics philosophy, her birth-control organisation was called the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress. Her 1921 slogan, echoed by the modern abortion movement, was, “Joyful and Deliberate Motherhood, A Safe Light in our Racial Darkness.”

In 1930, other such organisations joined to form the National Birth Control Council, later the Family Planning Association, which remains one of the most powerful voices of the abortion lobby to this day.

The BBC biography noted that Stopes spent the last years of her life writing poetry. The BBC declined to mention, however, that in August 1939, just a month before Britain went to war with Nazi Germany, she sent a collection of these to Adolph Hitler, accompanied by a note reading, “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 1935 Stopes attended the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin, sponsored by the Nazi regime.

In her 1920 book “Radiant Motherhood” Stopes called for the “sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood (to) be made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory.” She also heavily criticised the abolition of child labour for the lower classes.

Following Stopes’ death in 1958, a large part of her personal fortune went to the Eugenics Society, the organisation that lives today as the Galton Institute. The Galton Institute continues to promote eugenics through artificial reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilisation, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and direct manipulation of human beings, and their genome, at the embryonic stage.