NEW INITIATIVE — Women’s Health Center Hotline launched by Feminist Majority Foundation to provide clinics with emergency security assistance and to monitor incidents of violence nationwide.
Feminist Majority Foundation deploys organizers to New Orleans to protect clinics during Operation Rescue attacks, in wake of murders at two Brookline clinics.
NEW INITIATIVE — Feminist Majority Foundation launches National Center for Women in Policing, directed by Penny Harrington, formerly the first woman chief of police of a major U.S. city — Portland, Oregon. The National Center works to build a nationwide movement for dramatically increasing the numbers of women in all areas and levels of law enforcement as an effective strategy for reducing police brutality and improving police response to domestic violence — which accounts for 50% of 911-emergency calls nationwide.
Chief Penny Harrington, Director of the FMF’s National Center for Women and Policing, testifies about gender bias in the police force before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Feminist Majority Foundation releases Empowering Women in Sports report.
NEW INITIATIVE — Feminist Majority interns begin campus units, called FeM, later Campus Connections, and now Feminist Majority Student Leadership Alliances, at colleges and universities across the country.
NEW INITIATIVE — The Feminist Majority Foundation sponsors the 1995 Women’s Equality Poll, conducted by Lou Harris and Peter Harris Research Group. The poll finds historically high levels of support for the feminist movement and reveals wide support for affirmative action.
Feminist Majority Foundation National Coordinator Kathy Spillar testifies before Congress on links between anti-abortion extremists and militia groups.
NEW INITIATIVE — Feminist Majority Foundation launches Feminist Majority Foundation Online — Women’s Web World. The Foundation’s web site has received over a dozen awards for content and design. Today the site receives 30,000 to 35,000 hits daily.
NEW INITIATIVE — The Feminist Majority Foundation co-chairs the U.S. Network for Women, which mobilizes non-governmental organizations to participate in the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. The Feminist Majority Foundation, one of the few U.S. feminist organizations involved in both the ICPD and the Women’s Conference, is represented by a ten-member delegation in Beijing.
National Center for Women and Policing holds national conference bringing together for the first time high-ranking women in law enforcement from throughout the country.
Feminist Majority Foundation releases third annual Clinic Violence Survey which reveals that while clinic violence has declined across the board, one-third of clinics remain heavily targeted.
Co-sponsored by over 299 organizations, the Feminist Majority Foundation’s first National Feminist Exposition draws 3,000 participants from every sector of the feminist movement to Washington, D.C. in a blizzard for a three-day event that displayed the strength and diversity of the feminist movement and envisioned a feminist future for the 21st century. The Exhibit Hall (entrance left) features 100 exhibitors and four super-booths: Organizing for Women Online – Worldwide, Winning Equality for Women & Girls in Sport, Feminist Career Center, National Voter Registration Center, and Designing for Equality: Visualizing a Feminist Future.
The almost 300 Expo ’96 speakers included: Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, Gloria Steinem, Prema Mathai-Davis of the YWCA, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Marcia Ann Gillespie of Ms. Magazine, Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers, Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women, Robin Morgan of the Sisterhood is Global Institute, mystery authors Sandra Scoppettone, Annette Meyers, Joan Hess, Marilyn Wallace, Carolyn Heilbrun (aka Amanda Cross), and Marylouise Oates, and many others
Building on Expo ’96, Feminist Majority Foundation Online incorporates new sections: Feminist Budget Center, Voter Registration Center, and Affirmative Action Center.
Feminist Majority Foundation coordinates testimony from women’s organizations and health associations for Food and Drug Administration advisory committee hearing on the safety and efficacy of mifepristone (formerly known as RU 486). The Advisory Committee recommends approval of mifepristone. Two months later the FDA rates mifepristone “approvable,” which is the next step in the approval process.
The Feminist Majority Foundation joins other pro-choice organizations in forming the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP) to increase pro-choice public awareness on the abortion issue
NEW INITIATIVE — The Feminist Majority Foundation, along with the Feminist Majority, is one of the largest single contributors to the fight to save affirmative action for women and minorities in California. The Foundation is at the forefront of the effort to defeat the anti-affirmative action initiative in California, Proposition 209. FMF’s Freedom Summer ’96 and Fall ’96 student organizing drives bring hundreds of students from across the nation to California to help defeat Proposition 209. Spearheading the Stop Prop 209 campaign, FMF arranges a statewide Freedom Bus Tour. The Campaign airs radio ads featuring Candace Bergen, Ellen DeGenres, Alfre Woodard, and Dolores Huerta. The Campaign holds Los Angeles rally featuring Bruce Springsteen, Ani DiFranco, and Jesse Jackson.
A redesigned and expanded Feminist Online Store opens on Feminist Majority Foundation Online in time for the holiday season.
The National Clinic Defense Project, led by Project Director Alice Cohan and Senior Organizer Susie Gilligan, defends clinics in San Diego, CA and Chicago, IL during the Republican and Democratic conventions, respectively.
Feminist Majority Foundation Online Homepage is redesigned. Feminist Majority Foundation Online, with its new look, wins plethora of awards for site content, design and interactivity, including Net Guide’s Platinum Award, PC Magazine’s Top 100 for July, and the Access.Point Non-Profits Online Gold Award for Best Non-Profit Web Site.
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.
The Feminist Majority Foundation releases its fifth annual National Clinic Violence Survey, showing 24.8% of clinics reported severe violence (including blockades, invasions, bomb threats and bombings, arson threats and arsons, chemical attacks, death threats, and stalking). Just two weeks later, the New Women, All Women Health Care Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama becomes the target of a fatal anti-abortion bombing, the suspected work of anti-abortion terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph, still at large. Within hours of the bombing, the Feminist Majority Foundation dispatched senior staff from the National Clinic Access Project to Alabama, sending Alice Cohan and Katherine Spillar to assist both law enforcement and the clinic staff, acting as a vital communication link between law enforcement and clinics throughout the country. The clinic re-opened one week to the day after the bombing, sending a powerful message to the extremists.
The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing issues its first annual report, “Equality Denied: The Status of Women in Policing, 1997.” The first-of-its-kind report reveals that fewer than 12% of sworn officers nationwide are women, and that women are poorly represented in top-command positions. Calling on law enforcement to gender balance its ranks, NCWP Director Penny Harrington says, “Research shows that women police officers have fewer excessive-use-of-force complaints against them, and are better at dealing with domestic violence situations.”
In response to continued news reports that California-based UNOCAL has been negotiating with the Taliban militia to build a gas pipeline through Afghanistan, the Feminist Majority demonstrates, demanding that the CA attorney general revoke UNOCAL’s charter. The proposed pipeline could mean an annual $150 million for the Taliban. A few months later, UNOCAL suspends work on the pipeline. Several news media credit the Feminist Majority’s protests as a catalyst for UNOCAL’s decision.
Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal and National Coordinator Katherine Spillar travel to 21 campuses throughout the U.S., speaking about the Choices Campaign and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliances. The speaking tour sends the message that pro-choice campus activism is urgently needed, and that FMF’s new campus program provides support and leadership training to empower the next generation of feminists.
For the first time in history, a federal court found anti-abortion extremists liable for engaging in a nationwide conspiracy to close abortion clinics, in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the NOW v. Scheidler case. Eleanor Smeal, then President of the National Organization for Women, initiated the case in 1985. The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project provided research and data to the case for years, and assisted during the trial.
Feminist Majority Board member Mavis Leno and husband Jay Leno donate $100,000 to expand efforts to help Afghan women, and Mavis announces that she will chair FMF’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. The Campaign will educate the public on gender apartheid, outreach to college activists, expose U.S. corporate relations with the Taliban, and work in coalition with women’s and human rights groups to pressure the Taliban to restore women’s and girls’ rights.
The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing holds its third annual conference, drawing over 450 women law enforcement officials from 46 states. The conference features a special session on reducing anti-abortion clinic violence.
The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project travels to central Florida to counter anti-abortion extremists participating in Operation Rescue’s “Operation Pushback,” an attempt to close clinics in the area. FMF’s team works with community volunteers and law enforcement to protect women’s health care clinics. Operation Rescue failed to close a single clinic during their nine-day campaign.
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 www.feministcampus.org 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.