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History of Feminist Majority Foundation

1992 History Header


Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal announces special New Jersey Campaign aimed at Hoechst Celanese in effort to release RU 486. Hoechst Celanese is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Hoechst AG which controls RU 486 patent rights.

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal, Board Chair Peg Yorkin, and Director of Policy and Research Jennifer Jackman travel to Frankfurt, Germany to meet with officials at Hoechst AG to urge U.S. introduction of RU 486. Hoechst AG, which is the majority shareholder in Roussel Uclaf, has steadfastly opposed distribution of RU 486.

The Feminist Majority Foundation leads a postcard campaign urging Stroh's Brewery to end an offensive advertising campaign that created a hostile work environment for women employees at the brewery.

GLOBAL VICTORY -- The Foundation's Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women sets up an emergency Western Union Hotline to flood the Kuwait Embassy and the State Department with letters, urging assistance for women domestic workers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh who were raped and beaten by their Kuwaiti employers, police and the military. The women had fled to embassies for safety but employers refused to return their passports so the women could return to their homeland. Because of the publicity and pressure of the campaign some 10,000 women were allowed to return to their homeland.

As a part of the Web of Influence Campaign to win introduction of RU 486 to the United States, the Feminist Majority Foundation held a demonstration in April at the Trevira Twosome Race in New York City. The race was sponsored by Hoechst Celanese and Nike. Hoechst Celanese is the 100%-owned subsidiary of Hoechst AG, the German pharmaceutical company that controls the RU 486 patent. Nike uses Hoechst-produced fibers in its sports attire.

As a part of the Feminist Majority Foundation's Web of Influence Campaign to release RU 486, New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman led efforts to prevent New York City hospitals from purchasing pharmaceutical products from Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, whose parent companies hold stock in Roussel Uclaf.

Feminist Majority Foundation sponsors, with the National Woman Abuse Prevention Center, a national conference of 48 state domestic violence coalitions. The conference sought to develop strategies to increase funding for programs and to implement the Gender Balance in Police Force Project.

VICTORY -- The Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Defense Project keeps clinics open in Buffalo, New York despite a planned extended siege by Operation Rescue. Operation Rescue, after having been welcomed to Buffalo by the mayor fails to close clinics and quits blockade efforts in Buffalo after only one week. Next, we help to prevent siege of New York City clinics during and after the l992 National Democratic Convention.

Abortion Rights Mobilization's President Larry Lader organizes challenge to FDA import ban on RU 486. Lader and Leona Benten traveled to Great Britian to bring back a dose of RU 486 so that Benten could end her pregnancy. The RU 486 supply was confiscated at JFK airport, but Benten's story made front page news and helped galvanize demands for bringing this medical breakthrough to American women.

Feminist Majority Foundation 1992 Feminists of the Year are Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez; Navy Lieutenant Paula Coughlin; Minnesota High School Student Katy Lyle; Stroh Brewery Plantiffs Dianna Chaves, Antonia Felipe, Beth Gruber, Lana Haston, Jean Keopple, Lisa Meagher, Tammy Meyers, and Diane Novotny-Young; Women's Rock Group L7; Science Teacher Doug Kirkpatrick; RU 486 Activist Leona Benten; Abortion Rights Mobilization President Larry Lader; Former National Guard Nurse Margarethe Cammermeyer; Author Blanche Weisen Cook; Diane English and Candice Bergen; Third Wave Founders Rebecca Walker and Shannon Liss; Woman Who Won Japan's First Sexual Harassment Case (whose name was withheld); and Los Angeles City Council for Police Gender Balance Vote.