Despite the Trump Administration’s dramatic expansion of the Global Gag Rule last year, we continued to deliver family planning services to women and men in some of the poorest and most hard-to-reach communities around the world in 2017. We worked tirelessly to ensure our clients got the quality care they needed and fought hard to replace US Government funding that disappeared fast during 2017. As our supporters, these results are your results too; we could not have done it without you!
Here is our 2017 global impact report. We are deeply grateful for the solidarity and financial support you and many other US supporters provided. Your confidence in us made us stand tall and fight on courageously.
Despite the sustained political ill-winds, our teams around the world ensured that 26.9 million women, men and adolescents were using a method of contraception supplied by Marie Stopes International (MSI) - an increase of 1.5 million compared with 2016.
Our services also prevented 5.4 million unsafe abortions, 8.2 million unintended pregnancies and 23,900 maternal deaths.
We stood firm in our commitment to women with the greatest need and last year:
- 26% of our clients were living in extreme poverty.
- 51% of our clients were using no modern contraception when they came to us.
- 50% of our clients had no other way to get the service we provided.
We also worked hard to transform youth engagement in our programs, almost doubling our global proportion of adolescent clients. Roughly 25% of the world’s population – 1.8 billion people – is between ages 10 and 24. With the right policies and investments, young people can harness their futures to stay healthy, complete their education and pursue their dreams.
Between January 2017 and April 2018, we served more than one million clients between ages 15 and 19.
There is abundant evidence that by helping adolescents postpone pregnancy until they are ready, we help them build a strong base for success in life and sustainable prosperity for the planet. But many politicians, service providers, parents and educators treat young people as irresponsible or naïve, withholding the information and means they need to prevent pregnancies. We recognize that adolescents are critically under-served, and that as a family planning service provider and advocate, we have a unique role to play in changing this.
One MSI team member, Mary Benjamin, is reaching young women with reproductive choice in Tanzania. Her story is just one of many dedicated MSI providers striving to empower young people in the 37 countries where we work.
Mary Benjamin’s Story
Growing up watching her mother provide family planning services to local women in Tanzania, Mary Benjamin knew she wanted to follow in her footsteps from a young age. Now 25, Mary is a nurse at the Marie Stopes Bajaj youth club in Dar es Salaam.
“I had the dream to be a nurse like my mom, I was so impressed to see her in the family planning service and caring for the women. I said to myself, ‘my mom was helping them, and for me I want to be just like her.’”
Watching her work at the center, it’s easy to see why she has chosen this vocation. Mary is a confident and empathetic figure, and clearly cares about the young people she serves.
“I decided to specialize in family planning because I want to help other youth fulfill their dreams. It’s all about health education. If you give them health education, they will understand what to do, at what time and at what point.”
Through her work with young women, Mary is acutely aware of the many challenges they face, from the stigma surrounding sex outside marriage to the logistical challenges of reaching a clinic in rural Tanzania.
“Some of them are too rural to be able to find family planning clinics, so if we can go there and reach them, give them the service there, it helps them.”