Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground

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Inside the Top-Secret Abortion Underground
Code names, top-secret training, and a movement of women determined to avoid the medical establishment.

Nina Liss-Schultz
Mother Jones, March/April 2018 Issue

On a summer day in 2015, Renata and more than a dozen women, all strangers from different parts of the country, sat in a semicircle on the living-room floor of a house, deep in the rural South. A lean twentysomething with a wide smile and olive skin, Renata was the only nonwhite person in the group. And she felt conspicuous in other ways too—many of the women struck her as kind of “new agey,” and some had been involved in a “crystal energetics” midwifery program. All of them had big red binders full of worksheets and documents related to the topic at hand: how to help women self-induce an abortion. “My initial thought,” she recalls, “is, ‘What the fuck did I get myself into?'”

Renata had come from Arizona to attend the weeklong training. She learned how, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, white male doctors consolidated their professional power in part by sidelining female and often nonwhite midwives and other community healers. She learned which drugs and herbs induce a miscarriage and where to buy the small, plastic, strawlike instrument that is inserted into the uterus and suctions out an unwanted pregnancy. If problems arise, what should one say to avoid scrutiny at the emergency room? In which states is self-induced abortion, and helping women self-induce, a crime?

Continued: https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2018/02/inside-the-top-secret-abortion-underground/

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USA: Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

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Self-Managed Abortion and Embodying the Principles of Reproductive Justice

Jan 12, 2018
Marlene G. Fried & Susan Yanow

Legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Worldwide, there is an enormous gap between having the legal right to abortion and being able to access one. This is painfully obvious in the United States. While abortion is legal, its opponents have successfully decreased access to services through restrictive laws; bans on Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance coverage; and violence directed at clinics and providers.

These strategies have successfully put abortion clinic services out of reach for many people. Their long-range goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade and re-criminalize abortion. In the meantime, legal and policy barriers too often render the legal right to abortion meaningless, especially for those individuals and communities who are already the most vulnerable.

Continued at source: https://rewire.news/article/2018/01/12/self-managed-abortion-embodying-principles-reproductive-justice/

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U.S.: In today’s movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

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In today's movement toward home abortions, echoes of past cultural battles

'The cultural atmosphere [today is] way worse than the atmosphere that the underground service worked in during the ‘68 to ‘73 period,' says a former 'Jane,' who helped women obtain abortions before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.

Jessica Mendoza, Staff writer
July 5, 2017

Los Angeles — In the fall of 1970, a schoolteacher named Judith Arcana walked into a meeting held at a church a few blocks from her Chicago apartment. She emerged hours later a newly minted member of Jane, an underground collective that counseled women through – and later performed – thousands of illegal abortions between 1968 and 1973.

To Ms. Arcana, then 27, the idea of providing women with safe, dignified abortions dovetailed with her interest in reproductive justice and the burgeoning women’s liberation movement. “It seemed so right,” she recalls. “I was energized spiritually and politically, as well as intellectually.”

Continued at source: Christian Science Monitor: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2017/0705/In-today-s-movement-toward-home-abortions-echoes-of-past-cultural-battles

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U.S.: The Amateur Abortionists

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The Amateur Abortionists

By KATE MANNING
April 22, 2017

Imagine a stay-at-home mom who can do an abortion. Or a college student. Imagine she knows how to administer local anesthesia, has the medicines to induce miscarriage, can dilate a cervix, scrape a uterus. Imagine a group — with no medical training — performing dozens of abortions a week, in secret, at great risk to themselves, their families and the women they serve.

That is the story of Jane, an underground group in Chicago that carried out thousands of abortions between 1969 and 1973, when abortion was illegal. It’s a story of code names and safe houses, a story of women taking control of their lives and teaching other women to do the same.

Continued at source: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-amateur-abortionists.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170422&nlid=44906087&tntemail0=y&_r=0&referer

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