Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reading - The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service

Right now I am reading The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.  I began to learn about Jane a couple of years ago while working with the SMU Women's Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I was finishing up my undergraduate degree.  A woman named Jane, ironically, recruited me to participate in a play called Jane: Abortion and the Underground.  Jane was a collective of women in the late 1960's early 1970's who wanted to participate in the women's movement in a way that allowed them to take direct action.  They weren't interested in writing letters or changing laws, members of Jane wanted to help one woman at a time from start to finish.  The group began as an abortion referral service, referring women to local underground abortionists in the Chicago area (abortion was not legal in the US until Roe V. Wade in 1973).  Eventually, the women of Jane took their power back and learned to perform abortions themselves.  In their four years of existence they performed 12,000 safe illegal abortions. Amazing.  The book is easy to read and gives the reader a good picture of what the women's movement at that time (not that I was there to verify!).  If you have any feminist leanings at all I highly suggest you pick it up.    

To learn more, please go here.  The Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) Herstory Website has a wealth of information about Jane.  

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