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The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service

 
 
 
 
The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service
Author: Laura Kaplan
ISBN 13: 9780226424217
ISBN 10: 226424219
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1997-06-09
Format: Paperback
Pages: 334
List Price: $29.00
 
 

"In the four years before the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, most women determined to get abortions had to subject themselves to the power of illegal, unregulated abortionists...But a Chicago woman who happened to stumble across a secret organization code-named 'Jane' had an alternative. Laura Kaplan, who joined Jane in 1971, has pieced together the histories of the anonymous (here identified only by pseudonyms), average-sounding women who transformed themselves into outlaws."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The Story of Jane is a piece of women's history in step with feminist theory demanding that women tell their own stories. It serves to remind people of an important and often overlooked moment in the women's rights movement."—Seattle Weekly

"Laura Kaplan's The Story of Jane is the first book to chronicle this controversial sliver of history, and it is a fascinating, if partisan, close-up of the group."—Newsday

"[Kaplan] draws on her personal recollections and interviews with Jane members and clients and the doctors who performed the abortions to provide a well-written, detailed history of this radical group."—Publisher's Weekly

"Weaving together the voices and memories of her former co-workers, Kaplan recounts how the group initially focused on counseling women and helping them find reliable, reasonably priced doctors....Kaplan's account of this remarkable story recaptures the political idealism of the early '70s...23 years after Roe vs. Wade, the issues and memories raised by the books are close and all too relevant."—K Kaufmann, San Francisco Chronicle

"LauraKaplan's The Story of Jane is the first book to chronicle this controversial sliver of history, and it is a fascinating, if partisan, close-up of the group....The Story of Jane succeeds on the steam of Kaplan's gripping subject and her moving belief in the power of small-scale change."—Cynthia Leive, New York Newsday

"During the four years before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, the 100 members of Jane helped some 11,000 women end their pregnancies....There is more in this remarkable book that will further raise eyebrows....Kaplan's engrossing tales of the quiet courage of the women who risked their reputations and freedom to help others may remind many readers of other kinds of outlaws who have resisted tyranny throughout history."—Chicago Sun-Times

Publishers Weekly

From 1969 until January 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, a pioneering group of Chicago feminists who called themselves ``Jane'' provided illegal access to abortions for thousands of women. Kaplan, who is now a lay midwife, joined Jane in 1971 as a counselor. Here she draws on her personal recollections and interviews with Jane members and clients and the doctors who performed the abortions to provide a well-written, detailed history of this radical group. Initially Jane was a referral agency only, but as demand grew, members became involved in counseling and attended clients' abortions, and some eventually trained to perform the abortions. Jane volunteers were convinced that women were entitled to control over their bodies, and they acted on their principles, despite the consequences. Several members were arrested in 1972, but the suit was dropped. Jane disbanded after abortion clinics became legal. A dramatic and important piece of women's history. (Jan.)