Merie Stopes International Ethiopia has filed a complaint with the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency and the Bureau of Finance and Economic Development (BoFED). It demands a meeting following widespread news report of its demise in Ethiopia. It has since been deemed as “untrue and baseless”.
The Charities and Societies agency is also endorsing that the news reported by the media, including Fana Broadcasting Corporation, on Marie Stopes is wrong.
“Marie Stopes International Ethiopia are operating within the law and are working within the agreement they have entered into with the Charities and Societies Agency of Ethiopia,” Mesfin Tadesse, communications director of Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency said, adding only his agency has a mandate to revoke licenses and stop operations. “The rumored closure of this organization is untrue and baseless,” he said.
The organization believes “every woman and girl should be able to have children by choice, not chance” and credits itself for having given safe abortions to millions of vulnerable women around the world with a mixture of charity organizations that have been rumored to close abruptly by the government for various reasons.
“Despite recent reports, Marie Stopes International Ethiopia is running its operations as normal,” a statement from Marie Stopes sent to The Reporter said. “In order to sustain our lifesaving activities, the Ethiopian Charities and Societies Agency had granted Marie Stopes International Ethiopia an income generation license.”
This is a relief for local women who have used the services of the United Kingdom-based charity and has been operational within Ethiopia for thirty years. It remains operational in 37 countries, providing safe abortions and basic health care services.
“We would like to reassure people that our clinics across the country remain open and ready to serve women,” Risha Hess, country director at Marie Stopes Ethiopia, said. “There is no truth to the rumors that we have been shut down.”
“For many years, we have worked closely with the Ethiopian government to ensure that all of our services respect and comply with national laws and regulations,” she said.