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Source:  The New York Times

The no-frills advertisement, printed at times in student and alternative newspapers, went straight to the point: “Pregnant? Don’t want to be? Call Jane.” A telephone number followed.

This was nearly half a century ago, when abortion was illegal almost everywhere in the country and alternative newspapers were in their heyday. There was no Jane, though, not literally anyway. Yet at the same time, Jane was anybody.

“It was an Everywoman name,” used for everyone who once formed an underground network that provided clandestine abortion services, Laura Kaplan said. Ms. Kaplan was part of it and wrote about the experience in a 1995 book, “The Story of Jane.”

The group, referred to by some as the Jane Collective, operated in Chicago and carried out thousands of abortions from 1969 to 1973.

Many of the procedures were performed by medical nonprofessionals. They may have been the housewife next door, the college student down the block, or the local schoolteacher.

The Retro Report documentary is a brief and informative look into the Jane Collective.

If Hollywood is more your speed, there are two Jane films in production right now.

Read the story at The New York Times. 

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