Jane: An Abortion Service
A film by Kate Kirtz and Nell Lundy
1996, 58 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
This fascinating political look at a little-known chapter in women's history tells the story of "Jane", the Chicago-based women's health group who performed nearly 12,000 safe illegal abortions between 1969 and 1973 with no formal medical training. As Jane members describe finding feminism and clients describe finding Jane, archival footage and recreations mingle to depict how the repression of the early sixties and social movements of the late sixties influenced this unique group. Both vital knowledge and meditation on the process of empowerment, Jane: An Abortion Service showcases the importance of preserving women's knowledge in the face of revisionist history.
Jane: An Abortion Service was funded by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funds provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa
A film by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Mike Attie
2019, 13 minutes, Color, DVD
Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa, shortlisted for Oscars 2021 for Best Documentary Short Subject and winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Shorts at AFI Docs 2020, is a powerful short documentary that exposes how economic stigma and cruel legislation determines who in America has access to abortion.
At a women’s health fund in Philadelphia, phone counselors—all called Lisa to protect their anonymity—arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from people who are seeking to end a pregnancy and can’t afford to. In 1976, only three years after Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, the Hyde Amendment was enacted with the explicit intention of denying poor individuals—those receiving Medicaid—access to abortion. By giving voice to those affected by discriminatory policies, the film exposes how legislation like the Hyde Amendment ties access to abortion to economic status and denies reproductive justice.
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Taking Care is presented in partnership with Women Make Movies and features a selection of six films from WMM’s catalogue. These films span 50 years of consciousness raising campaigns, mutual aid networks, education, organizing, and the intimate stories of lived experiences within the struggle for reproductive freedom. Join us each Friday in April for a new film in this series.
Image credit: Still from Jane: An Abortion Service by Kate Kirtz and Nell Lundy, image courtesy of Women Make Movies.