For Immediate Release

October 25, 2002

Feminist Majority Mourns the Loss of Senator Paul and Sheila Wellstone

The feminist movement lost two steadfast champions today when US Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN) and his wife Sheila Wellstone were killed in a plane crash in Minnesota. “The Feminist Majority is heartbroken by the loss of two dear friends,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Both Paul and Sheila were feminists. They were with us at many press conferences, many campaigns for social justice and to eliminate discrimination against women and minorities.” Senator Wellstone initiated legislation to combat domestic violence and international sex trafficking. He also was a champion of reproductive choice, he opposed the war on Iraq and he was concerned with the economic issues for the elderly, poor and women. “Senator Wellstone was not only passionate in his beliefs but he was highly effective,” Smeal said. “Ironically, today he was ahead in all the polls (Star Tribune, Zobgy, Mason Dixon) because he was so connected to the grassroots and so beloved. People knew that he was honest, that he cared and that he was idealistic. He never let us down. He was always a senator we could count on for furthering the cause of women’s rights and social justice.”

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