As Roe v Wade faces a direct challenge, criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, local judges and cops begin to lay out what it would look like to criminalize abortion
by Jessica Glenza, Graphics by Zala Šeško
Mon 29 Nov 2021
In the early 1970s, law enforcement leaders in Chicago decided the practice of illegal abortion was intolerable in their city and, in a mostly forgotten chapter of history, undertook a campaign to root out those who performed the procedure in secret.
On a tip, police turned their attention to “Call Jane”, a feminist collective of young women who, since 1965, had provided safe but illegal abortions to roughly 3,000 Chicagoans per year. The collective was raided after two Catholic women told police their sister-in-law planned to have an abortion performed by the group.
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.
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