We continue our conversation with Laura Kaplan, author of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service. A member of the Abortion Counseling Service, code name Jane, Laura recounts the evolution of the organization. And the power of women helping women. Jane was a feminist underground of diverse women who provided low-cost abortion services, counseling and referrals before abortion was legalized in 1973. With the Dobbs decision and the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the story is one that we are reliving.
Part 2 of our conversation…how the women took control after learning the doctor wasn’t a real doctor. The arrest of 7, the passing of Roe v. Wade and the underground.
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 and financial help. Laura is the author of The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.
New York Times bestselling author Dorothy Wickenden’s latest book – The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights. The Agitators is the true story of Harriett Tubman, Martha Coffin Wright and Frances A. Seward. One a former slave, one a Quaker mother of 7 and one a politician’s wife. Although three very different women, they came together to fight for abolition and women’s rights in the mid-nineteenth century in Auburn, New York.
Much history has gone into the fight for abolition and women’s rights. Many have heard of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who was the conductor of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by enslaved African Americans to escape into Free states and Canada.
But not many have heard of Martha Coffin Wright or Frances A. Seward. By introducing us to them, Dorothy shines a light on the story of three women who worked together. Yes, three women who worked together at a time when women had little control. So little that a married woman didn’t own anything. And yet somehow Frances, Martha and Harriet fought for the end to slavery and advocated for women’s rights.
Dorothy is the executive editor of The New Yorker and the host of its weekly podcast Politics and More.’ She is also the NY Times bestselling author of Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West. Dorothy edited The New Republic Reader: Eighty Years of Opinion and Debate.
A conversation and a lot of history with Dorothy:
Why these three women
Upper and middle class women and their roles
Witnessing abuse and feeling helpless
Frances’ awakening and Martha’s aide
The bold move that allowed Francis to sell Harriet the house
How Harriet established herself
The Choices We Make and Those That Are Made For Us Choices, why are women always perceived to be hasty in their choices? And then often criticized because we haven’t made what is judged to be the right choice? “No woman should be told she can’t make...