Before Roe v. Wade, there was the Jane Collective.
Prior to Roe v. Wade the Jane Collective in Chicago provided illegal abortion services to women who could not afford to fly to New York (where abortions were legal) or Europe.
They were a heroic and courageous band of women. In 1973 they disbanded as a result of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion rights.
But, as Aileen Kim pointed out at last night’s monthly The Girl Talk at the Hideout, Roe never really made abortions accessible to most women, particularly poor women and women of color.
Tuesday night at The Girl Talk with (from left) Erika Wozniak, Aileen Kim, Diana Arellano, Martha Scott and Jen Sebella.
State laws have chipped away at abortion rights. Threats to doctors have reduced the availability of services, particularly in rural areas and Republican states. And now Trump’s supreme court appointments threaten even what Roe provided.
Kim co-chairs Personal PAC’s Future Voices Council, a group of women and men under 40 who are committed to electing pro-choice candidates in Illinois, and serves on the boards of CAN TV and the Albany Park Community Center.
Also in on the discussion with hosts Erika Wozniak and Jen Sebella were Martha Scott, a member The Jane Collective, officially known as the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation and Diana Arellano, a reproductive justice advocate with a background in community health and global women’s rights. She is the Manager of Community Engagement at Planned Parenthood of Illinois and a board member of the Chicago Abortion Fund.
It is very likely that soon, and very soon, women may find themselves legally back in the time before Roe.
Many have begun stockpiling IUDs in preparation.
House Bill 40 anticipates a roll back on Roe and removes all statutory references to criminalizing abortion if Roe is overturned.
The current make up of the U.S. Supreme Court have led some state policymakers to consider the possibility that Roe v. Wade could be overturned and regulation of abortion returned to the states. Some state legislatures are considering banning abortion under all or virtually all circumstances; these measures are widely viewed as an attempt to provoke a legal challenge to Roe, while other states are considering abortion bans that would go into effect in the event that Roe is overturned. And a number of states still have pre-1973 abortion bans on the books—several of which, in theory, could be enforced if Roe were ever overturned. Still other states have laws declaring the state’s intent to ban abortion to the extent permitted by the U.S. Constitution.