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The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service (Paperback)
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"In the four years before the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, most women determined to get abortions had to subject themselves to the power of illegal, unregulated abortionists...But a Chicago woman who happened to stumble across a secret organization code-named 'Jane' had an alternative. Laura Kaplan, who joined Jane in 1971, has pieced together the histories of the anonymous (here identified only by pseudonyms), average-sounding women who transformed themselves into outlaws."—Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The Story of Jane is a piece of women's history in step with feminist theory demanding that women tell their own stories. It serves to remind people of an important and often overlooked moment in the women's rights movement."—Seattle Weekly
"Laura Kaplan's The Story of Jane is the first book to chronicle this controversial sliver of history, and it is a fascinating, if partisan, close-up of the group."—Newsday
"[Kaplan] draws on her personal recollections and interviews with Jane members and clients and the doctors who performed the abortions to provide a well-written, detailed history of this radical group."—Publisher's Weekly
"Weaving together the voices and memories of her former co-workers, Kaplan recounts how the group initially focused on counseling women and helping them find reliable, reasonably priced doctors....Kaplan's account of this remarkable story recaptures the political idealism of the early '70s...23 years after Roe vs. Wade, the issues and memories raised by the books are close and all too relevant."—K Kaufmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Laura Kaplan's The Story of Jane is the first book to chronicle this controversial sliver of history, and it is a fascinating, if partisan, close-up of the group....The Story of Jane succeeds on the steam of Kaplan's gripping subject and her moving belief in the power of small-scale change."—Cynthia Leive, New York Newsday
"During the four years before the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, the 100 members of Jane helped some 11,000 women end their pregnancies....There is more in this remarkable book that will further raise eyebrows....Kaplan's engrossing tales of the quiet courage of the women who risked their reputations and freedom to help others may remind many readers of other kinds of outlaws who have resisted tyranny throughout history."—Chicago Sun-Times
About the Author
Laura Kaplan is a lifelong activist and a founding member of the Emma Goldman Women’s Health Center in Chicago. She is a contributor to Our Bodies, Ourselves.
“This is lively, nuanced history that brings to life the hopes, terrors, and disappointments of a movement committed to giving women control over their own bodies.”
“The Story of Jane succeeds on the steam of Kaplan’s gripping subject and her moving belief in the power of small-scale change.”
— New York Newsday
“Kaplan’s engrossing tales of the quiet courage of the women who risked their reputations and freedom to help others may remind many readers of other kinds of outlaws who have resisted tyranny throughout history.”
— Chicago Sun Times
“A dramatic and important piece of women’s history.”
— Publishers Weekly
"A firsthand account of an underdocumented moment in the history of abortion and women's liberation. . . . [Kaplan's] powerful story will be invaluable to organizers, feminist historians, and anyone concerned about contemporary threats to personal liberty."
— Kirkus Reviews
"As a study of this remarkable but little-known phenomenon, this book will be of value to anyone interested in women’s health, the women’s movement, and women’s reproductive health and rights, particularly now that those rights are coming under increasing attack."
— Library Journal
“An extraordinary history . . . . This book stands as a compelling testament to a woman’s most essential freedom—control over her own body—and to the power of women helping women.”
— The Rumpus
"Kaplan tells all about Jane's inspiring history in this fantastic book."
"This reissue of Laura Kaplan’s 1995 study of the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation . . . could not come at a more critical moment in the history of abortion in the United States. . . . This book is an excellent work of history and would work well in a variety of American Studies courses. I just wish it was not so very timely."
— Australasian Journal of American Studies