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History of Feminist Majority Foundation

1999 History Header


The Feminist Majority Foundation becomes sole administrator of a compassionate use program for mifepristone, distributing the drug to patients with meningioma (brain tumors), fibroid tumors, endometriosis, ovarian cancer and other serious diseases and conditions that particularly affect women. Patients respond overwhelmingly to the opportunity to have access to this drug to treat serious conditions untreatable by other medications before its approval by the FDA. FMF continues to work for mifepristone's approval for use in the U.S., as a method of medical abortion and for the expansion of clinical trials on other promising uses.

The Feminist Majority Foundation releases its sixth annual National Clinic Violence Survey, showing that 22.2% of clinics continued to experience severe violence (including blockades, invasions, bomb threats and stalking). This represents a slight decrease from the previous year.

Women are still only 13.3% of police officers, according to the National Center for Women and Policing's second annual report, not much of an increase over last year's 12%. As in 1997, most of the departments with high numbers of women in their ranks are under consent decrees that mandate them to hire more women.

The Feminist Majority Foundation urges the FBI and Department of Justice to increase the reward offered for information leading to the arrest of Charles Kopp, an anti-abortion extremist charged with the October 21 murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian. As a result of FMF's efforts, the FBI places Kopp on its Ten Most Wanted list, along with Eric Robert Rudolph, charged with the 1998 bombing of an Alabama women's clinic, the Olympic Park bombing and the bombing of an Atlanta lesbian nightclub.

Hollywood's best and brightest stars come out for the Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, chaired by FMF Board Member Mavis Leno, in a major public education event to help expose human rights abuses against women and girls in Afghanistan. The event features performances by Melissa Etheridge, Vince Gill, Jay Leno, Sarah McLachlan, Sidney Poitier, Lionel Richie, and Wynonna. Event attendees include Marlo Thomas, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Gillian Anderson, Lily Tomlin, Laura Dern, Brandy, Lisa Leslie, Sharon Gless, Tyne Daly, Margaret Cho, Linda Ellerbee, Ashely Judd, Naomi Judd, Lucy Lawless, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt), Gabrielle Reese, Mary Steenburgen, Alfre Woodard, Abigail Van Buren, FMF Board Chair Peg Yorkin, President Eleanor Smeal and National Coordinator Katherine Spillar, and FMF Board Members Lorraine Sheinberg, Ina Coleman, Judith Meuli, Helen Cho, and Dolores Huerta . Voice of America broadcasts the event live to Afghanistan.

The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan spurs a rescue mission of Afghan refugees whose lives are being threatened by the terrorist militia, the Taliban. Sixteen members of Afghan journalist Nazira Karimi's family and 21-year-old Maryam "Giti" Shams reach the United States after fleeing the Taliban's edicts that stripped women and girls of their basic human rights.

In a magnificent show of support for international women's human rights, entertainment headliners on the east coast join women's rights and human rights leaders in New York, NY to expose the brutal treatment of women and girls living under gender apartheid in Afghanistan. The event, sponsored by the Feminist Majority Foundation and GLAMOUR magazine, features keynote speaker Meryl Streep and a showing of the dramatic documentary "Shroud of Silence," produced by FMF Board Member Lorraine Sheinberg. The event also features musical performances by Joan Osborne, Melissa Etheridge, and Jessica Tivens and on-stage performaces by Laura Dern, Marlo Thomas, and Bonnie Fuller, Editor of GLAMOUR magazine.

Using cutting-edge interactive Internet Technology, the Feminist Majority Foundation launches the Choices Campus Community at in a move to strengthen progressive organizing by enabling inter-campus communication and online training and support for thousands of feminist campus activists.

 President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton honor Dolores Huerta, secretary/treasurer and co-founder of United Farm Workers and Feminist Majority Foundation Board Member since its founding in 1987, at the 1999 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award Ceremony at the White House. Huerta is honored for her work on behalf of U.S. farmworkers, and for her commitment to women's rights and political empowerment.