HeavyReader's Reviews > The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service

The Story of Jane by Laura Kaplan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: feminist, life-stories, pregnancy-birth-abortion, us-history

This book blew me away.

I got it at the Spring '09 Friends of the Library booksale, but I didn't start reading it until the day Dr. George Tiller (RIP) was murdered (May 31, 2009).

This book tell the story of Jane, the underground, feminist abortion service that happened in Chicago in the years prior to Roe v. Wade, when abortion was still illegal in Illinois (and most other states). It was written by a woman who was actually involved in the service.

The service started as a way to help women get in touch with sympathetic doctors who were willing to perform illegal abortions. Soon the service had their own compatent, caring, talented doctor who performed abortions in rotating locations, the homes and apartments of members of the service.

When members of Jane found out the doctor performing the abortions was not a doctor at all, several of them felt empowered to also perform abortions. The abortion provider with whom they worked started teaching the women everything he knew about the proceedures. Soon members of the service was actually performing abortions.

The women in Jane were really about women's liberation. That aspect of the book both really inspired me and made me really sad about the watered down version of feminism we have today that tells women we should be happy to be allowed to vote and hold jobs outside the home. Damn, why aren't we working for total liberation anymore?

I also appreciate the writing style of this book. It is accessible, but not dumbed down.

Overall, this is a great book that sheds light on an often overlooked aspect of American history.
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Reading Progress

April 24, 2009 – Shelved
April 24, 2009 – Shelved as: feminist
April 24, 2009 – Shelved as: life-stories
April 24, 2009 – Shelved as: pregnancy-birth-abortion
Started Reading
June 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
November 28, 2014 – Shelved as: us-history

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