PODCAST EPISODE

‘Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.’

Post Reports

May 13 2022 • 27 mins


In the years before Roe v. Wade, the group known as Jane helped more than 11,000 Chicago women get abortions. We look back at the group and talk with one of its members as activists and health advocates mobilize in anticipation of the end of Roe.



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In the years before Roe v. Wade guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion, a group of women banded together in Chicago to help others access the procedure illegally. Their fliers read things like: “Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.”


Jane became the group’s code name. They estimate that between 1969 and 1973 they helped around 11,000 women get abortions, and many members of the group learned to perform abortions themselves.


Laura Kaplan was a member of Jane from 1971 to ’73 and wrote a book on the group’s history called “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.”


Today on the show, we talk to Laura about the dangers women faced before abortions were constitutionally protected, how the underground group evolved, and how she’s making sense of this moment as activists and health advocates mobilize in anticipation of the end of Roe.