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.