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History of Feminist Majority Foundation

1987-1989

The Feminist Majority Foundation is founded by Peg Yorkin, Eleanor Smeal, Katherine Spillar, Toni Carabillo, and Judith Meuli. The Foundation's mission is to create innovative, cutting-edge research, educational programs, and strategies to further women's equality and empowerment, to reduce violence toward women, to increase the health and economic well-being of women, and to eliminate discrimination of all kinds.

NEW INITIATIVE - The Feminist Majority Foundation begins a National Clinic Defense Project to defend women's health clinics from anti-abortion extremists and to safeguard every woman's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.

VICTORY - FMF successfully defends some 94 clinics in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County areas from Operation Rescue blockades. Operation Rescue had announced prior to the attempted siege that it would make Los Angeles the first abortion free city. FMF recruits and trains over 7,000 volunteers in Southern California to defend clinics.

NEW INITIATIVE - After meeting with leading scientists and physicians in the U.S. and Europe, the Foundation launches a Campaign for RU 486 and Contraceptive Research. Based in the Foundation's Boston Office, the Campaign presses for immediate access to RU 486 as a method of early abortion in the U.S. and increased testing on the drug's promise as a treatment for menigioma, breast cancer, Cushing's Syndrome, endometriosis, and other serious diseases.

Feminist Majority Foundation produces an award-winning video, Abortion for Survival. The videotape, produced by Peg Yorkin and Eleanor Smeal, opens with the performance of a 6-weeks abortion which takes 1 minute 24 seconds. The videotape, shown three times on Turner Broadcasting System, also reveals what was extracted from the uterus. Abortion for Survival reviews the need for abortion worldwide because of the lack of access to affordable contraception and the desire of women to limit their family size or control births. The videotape is awarded the prestigious Cine Golden Eagle award in 1989.

In conjunction with the NOW Mobilization for Women's Lives, the Feminist Majority Foundation is commissioned to create a monument "IN MEMORY OF THE COURAGEOUS WOMEN WHO DIED FROM ILLEGAL UNSAFE ABORTIONS BECAUSE THEY HAD NO CHOICE." Vice President Toni Carabillo wrote these words lest we forget these women and the price they paid for choice. The monument, which appeared so realistic that tourists complained it was not on official guide maps, was erected on the grounds close to the Washington Monument.