The Feminist Majority Foundation was established in 1987 by Eleanor Smeal (who is the organization’s current President), Peg Yorkin, Toni Carabillo, Judith Meulli, and Kathy Spillar. “Dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence,” FMF’s research and action programs “focus on advancing the legal, social and political equality of women with men, countering the backlash to women’s advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists to encourage future leadership for the feminist movement in the United States.”
From 1987-1992, FMF implemented its “Feminization of Power” campaign, a drive to raise the level of female representation to 50 percent in state legislatures and Congress. The “Feminization of Power” initiative urged voters to only vote for candidates who supported “women’s rights” and “feminist principles.”
Another of FMF’s early initiatives (and one that remains among its most visible) is the National Clinic Defense Project, which mobilizes and trains volunteers to keep pro-life protesters from interfering with the operation of abortion clinics. FMF activists produced a video of an abortion in 1988, which Ted Turner aired on Turner Broadcasting. In 1989, FMF and the National Organization for Women (NOW) endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand by raising a monument “to the unknown women who died from illegal abortions.” FMF has also endorsed the use of the “morning-after” pill (RU 486), insisting that medical testing for its utility for other conditions — including Cushing’s syndrome, endometriosis, and breast cancer — be funded by the government. FMF also supports “over-the-counter” delivery of birth control and abortifacients.
FMF maintains an outreach program called FeministCampus.org, which assists pro-abortion activists on college campuses. FeministCampus.org seeks to put these activists in touch with each other, and is active even at universities controlled by churches that forbid abortion. In addition, FMF supports a Global Feminism Initiative that blends women’s rights objectives (like the freedom of women from the burkha and the veil, and the grant of the franchise) with calls for government-funded abortion-on-demand, even in Islamic states where such practices are incompatible with law and tradition.
FMF’s Judicial Watch program is designed to prevent President Bush from appointing any federal judges opposed to _Roe v. Wade. _The FMF website urges members to contact their House and Senate representatives on this matter. FMF was an Organizer of the April 25, 2004 “March for Women’s Lives” held in Washington, D.C., a rally advocating unrestricted access to taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand.
FMF seeks to increase the number of women on police forces across the United States by means of its National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP), which promotes the use of quotas in police training academies in order to obtain proportional gender representation on the job.
The FMF website also features a “Title IX Watch” – to monitor compliance with the 1972 law stipulating that in all federally funded schools, the funding given to female sports teams must proportionally match the funding given to male teams, whatever the level of interest among women on campus in competitive athletics.
Additional FMF programs include the following: (a) Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls, which calls for more U.S. spending on humanitarian aid and reconstruction in the war torn nation; (b) Get Out Her Vote, a campaign to “register and mobilize voters and inform students about feminist issues, including the power of the gender gap and youth vote”; (c) Internship in Feminism and Public Policy; and (d) Rock for Choice, a program that has organized concerts in dozens of cities across the U.S. and Canada at which attendees are registered to vote and encouraged “to speak out, get involved and learn how to protect their reproductive rights.”
FMF now controls Ms. Magazine, having taken over the struggling periodical in December 2001.
Among the earliest financial contributors to FMF was Peg Yorkin (wife of film producer Bud Yorkin), who gave the organization $10 million as “seed money” in 1991. Jay Leno and his wife Mavis Leno have given six-figure gifts. Mavis Leno sits on the FMF Board and is Chairman of the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan. Other major contributors to FMF include the Compton Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Family Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, the Ms. Foundation for Women, George Soros‘ Open Society Institute, the Scherman Foundation, and the Turner Foundation.
FMF also receives some government grants, though its tax returns do not specify the purposes for which they were awarded. In the four years from 1997 through 2000, these government grants totaled $15,000; $100,440; $250,871; and $197,295, respectively.
FMF is a member of OneWorld Network, an umbrella organization of more than 1,500 leftist groups that, according to the OneWorld website, seek “to promote sustainable development, social justice, and human rights.” Feminist Majority is also a member organization of the National Council of Women’s Organizations and the Win Without War coalition.