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Your Call

In The Janes, we meet the women who provided safe abortions before the 1973 Roe decision

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing The Janes, a documentary about an underground network of women who provided an estimated 11,000 safe, affordable, illegal abortions in Chicago from 1968 to 1973.

The Janes were ordinary women who risked their personal and professional lives to support women with unwanted pregnancies in the pre-Roe era. In The Janes, several original members of the collective tell their stories for the first time. How are The Janes reflecting on their work now that abortion is illegal in 11 states in 2022? What is the way forward?


Tia Lessin, award winning documentary filmmaker and co-director of The Janes

Emma Pildes, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and co-director of The Janes

Eileen Smith, original member of The Jane Collective

Diane Stevens, original member of The Jane Collective

Web Resources:

Doc5 Film Festival in Menlo Park: The Janes screening, Friday, September 9, 10:30am PT

The New Yorker: “The Janes” and the Power of Pro-Abortion Imagery

Variety: Abortion Activists Depicted in ‘The Janes’ Sound Alarm About Possible Roe v. Wade Overturn: ‘It’s Going to Be Horrible

The Guardian: ‘There’s always something to be done’: how the Janes provided illegal abortions before Roe

TIME: HBO’s The Janes Is Essential Viewing for a Post-Roe America

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.