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History of Feminist Majority Foundation

1997 History Header


The Feminist Majority Foundation, National Abortion Federation, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America hold press conference to draw attention to continued high levels of violence at clinics. During the press conference, abortion rights groups learn that an Atlanta abortion clinic has been bombed twice. The second bomb is aimed at rescue personnel several of whom are injured. The next month a lesbian nightclub is bombed. The Army of God, a clandestine terrorist organization which has been bombing and burning women's health clinics since the early l980s and had even kidnapped a doctor and his wife in l982, later claims credit for these Atlanta bombings. Feminist Majority Foundation calls for classification of clinic violence as "domestic terrorism."

VICTORY -- The Feminist Majority Foundation files amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court case, Schenck v. Pro-choice Network of Western New York. Using data from the 1995 National Clinic Violence Survey, the Feminist Majority Foundation brief argued that buffer zones effectively protect clinics from anti-abortion violence. The Supreme Court, reaffirming its decision in the Feminist Majority Foundation's Madsen case, ruled that buffer zones around clinics are constitutional. While the Court in Schenck did strike down a "floating buffer zone" in the Buffalo case, it left open the possibility of a floating buffer zone in other cases if the record of anti-abortion extremist behavior at a particular clinic warranted this remedy.

National Center for Women in Policing holds second annual conference with 350 women police officers.

A panel of feminist mystery authors opens the second annual National Center for Women and Policing conference. From left to right, Jennifer Jackman, Feminist Majority Foundation Director of Policy and Research, introduces authors Laurie R. King, Susan Dunlap, and Annette Meyers.

Feminist Majority Foundation Online wins the Excellence Award given by Victim Assistance Online. The Victim Assistance Online is "granted to those websites whose content, resources, links, design and ease of use are judged by the panel to make the site a valuable resource to the professional victim-assistance field in general, or of direct use to victims of crime or tragedy."

New Reproductive Rights section opens on Feminist Majority Foundation Online.

For the first time on the East Coast, the Feminist Majority Foundation hosts a "Choose to Laugh, Laugh to Choose" comedy event to benefit the Foundation's National Clinic Defense Project. The First "Choose to Laugh" event was held on the West Coast in 1994.

Anti-abortion RU 486 boycott against Hoechst AG backfires. Hoechst reliquishes worldwide patent rights on RU 486 to Dr. Edouard Sakiz, former CEO of Roussel Uclaf. Sakiz sets up a new company, Exelgyne, which will market RU 486 worldwide (excluding the U.S. where patent rights are controlled by the Population Council) and begin testing on the drug's many other promising indications. With the transfer of RU 486 patent rights to Dr. Sakiz, women worldwide will finally "be able to realize the full potential of this medical breakthrough," said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal.

Feminist Majority Foundation Online features several Take Action alerts in support of television show Ellen. The first alert urged ABC to let character Ellen Morgan come out of the closet as a lesbian. The second alert urged ABC to remain steadfast in support of Ellen in the face of a boycott by Southern Baptists. The third alert asked ABC to cease requiring an "adult content" warning before the show and to stop trying to censure gay themes from the Emmy-award winning program.

Three young leaders of the Foundation's Freedom Summer/Fall '96 project to defeat the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209 in California won the "Gloria Steinem" Awards from the Ms. Foundation. Honored at the ninth annual awards ceremony were Justine Andronici, Director of Freedom Summer/Fall '96; Dee Martin, Northern Coordinator; and Nohelia Canales, full-time intern.

The Feminist Arts, Literature, and Entertainment section of Feminist Majority Foundation Online is expanded to include new Feminist Humor and Feminist Mystery Corner sections.

The National Clinic Defense Project wins federal marshal protection again for two doctors who provide abortions and are being terrorized by anti-abortion terrorists. To date scores of doctors and women's clinic health workers have been assisted by the project. The project has trained 43,000 volunteers in more than 43 cities in 25 states to assist and defend women's health clinics. Anti-abortion violence which was plaguing 52% of all clinics in l994 (the peak year for violence of all types including the murder of a doctor, 2 clinic workers, and an escort) has been reduced to 28% in l996, according to the fourth annual Clinic Violence Survey of 1996. But bombings and arsons are up. In the first eight months of l997, twelve clinics have been bombed or arsoned.

NEW INITIATIVE -- The Feminist Majority Foundation launches new Campus Campaign for Choice Program. In 1997 the Feminist Majority Foundation expanded its campus work again by launching an all new program that is aided by our existing Feminist Majority Foundation Online, National Clinic Access Project, our Internship program, and our Rock for Choice(tm). In the fall of 1997, we launched our Feminist Majority Campus Leadership Alliances that will conduct the Campus Campaign for Choice. The Campaign will include four major components defining "choice" in a very broad context: Reproductive Choices; Leaderships Choices; Career Choices; Saving Choices: Fighting the Backlash.