Sylvia & Me
Sylvia & Me
The Janes: '70's Underground Feminist Abortion Service, Part 1

Laura Kaplan was one of the members of the 1970’s underground abortion service, Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation. Code name ‘Jane’, the Chicago based organization was a place for women seeking an abortion. There they could find a level of protection, support and financial help. Laura is the author of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.

Through interviews with members and women who had abortions through Jane, Laura tells the story of a diverse group of women. The majority had no political experience or medical training. Despite this, they built a referral and counseling service into a full-fledged underground abortion service. Over the four years that it existed, Jane provided thousands of abortions, counseled thousands of women and educated thousands on women’s health. The women were from all walks of life: women of color, single women, young women, married women in abusive relationships, etc…

With the overturn of Roe vs Wade and the criminalization of abortion, this conversation is more powerful than ever. We are in the process of reliving history. Our conversation was so extensive and moving, that I’ve broken it into two parts. This is Part 1 – the beginning of the Jane Collective.