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  •  Keep abortion (4.00)
    When I was young, legal abortions were not available.  Women were using coat hangers and illicit drugs and pills to abort, with often life altering results.  Death was common.  Sterility was common.  And much the same as the far supposed religious right damning of the woman and societal shunning.  Not the guy, mind you, he was just having a little fun and sowing his oats.  NO MAN has a right to say whether a woman should or should not get and abortion.  NO MAN has a right to make abortion illegal again.  When a man ever gets pregnant, then he can talk.  Until then shut up!
    •  More of these stories (4.00)
      My aunt tells me stories about living in the 60's as a young woman. She has told me about women bleeding out at work. Using coat hangers. Dying. And she is committed to never going back to that.

      We need to hear more of these stories. I'm afraid we've lost some of this perspective. Young women need to hear these stories.

      •  Are you sure you want to hear details (none)
        of these stories?

        In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

        by AllisonInSeattle on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 08:00:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm afraid it's the forgetting of these details (4.00)
          ... that has contributed to the current climate.  I don't want to dwell on morbid horrible things either, but we're going to be LIVING with this again -- if the current administration has its way.  I'm beginning to think it's time to start setting up "Jane" networks again.
          •  Jane networks? (none)
            For those of us who've never heard of these, what are "Jane networks" please?
            •  What's a "good old boy" network? (none)
              What would a Jane network be, then?

              In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

              by AllisonInSeattle on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:56:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "Jane" (none)
              A woman who needed an abortion and was in the know could contact a group of women who were all anonymous - so all called Jane - who could guide them toward a relative safe provider.

              I was a small child in the 60s so do not have details.

            •  See a couple of messages below n/t (none)
              •  I mean, a couple of messages above (none)
                Which is what I get for being in a hurry and late to work
                •  Jane (none)
                  Jane in Chicago was an underground collective. It began as the "Abortion Counseling Service of Women's Liberation", they also provided sexuality information.

                  Jane always viewed abortion as one critical component of the broader goal of women's liberation.

                  From the opening paragraph of Jane's pamphlet, their statement of purpose;

                  "We are women whose ultimate goal is the liberation of women in society. One important way we are working toward that goal is by helping any woman who wants an abortion to get one as safely and cheaply as possible under existing conditions."

                  Over time, they grew increasingly frustrated with the quality of care they could offer through referals.

                  Long story short, the womyn in the referal service eventually discovered one of their 'doctors' wasn't a doctor at all- which opened an entirely new possibility for them- abortion in lay hands.

                  And more importantly, womyn's health in womyn's hands.

                  Some of the Janes learned how to do the abortions themselves and everything changed. Quality of care went up, prices came way down- for starters.

                  Rich womyn were leaving the country to get their abortions, Jane did abortions for womyn who were not rich.

                  Former members estimate Jane did more than 11,000 abortions over the course of 4 years, with one fatality- which is a story unto itself. They were raided in 1972, Seven womyn were arrested for performing illegal abortions. This led to the "abortion 7 case", but the key here is that Jane managed to restart services in another location in less than 24 hours.

                  It's important to understand the situation they were in though, they had other medical people as support who they could call on, and they were more of an open secret than you might expect- Chicago cops brought their girlfriends etc. They also got some clergy support and referals- keep in mind, this was back in the age of the clergy consultation service. They even had a number listed in the Chicago phone book.

                  Jane disbanded in '73 with the Roe and Doe decisions. Some of the Jane womyn were very concerned that this meant abortion back in the hands of doctors and the medical establishment, they were concerned about quality of care and the expense- and naturally, their fears were justified.

                  Jane had provided any womyn an abortion without demanding a 'reason' and had let womyn pay whatever price they could afford. When we lost Jane, womyn lost much more than a provider, they lost the framework of Womyn's Liberation in relation to abortion.

                  Today's climate is utterly different. IMHO, any notion of just starting Jane up again exactly as it was is pure fantasy.

                  That does not mean Jane is not critically important.

                  Here's a link that provides some raw documentation-

                  Laura Kaplan's book- "The Story of Jane"

                  but I'd advise looking at news articles and doing some websearches.

          •  Exactly. n/t (none)

            In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

            by AllisonInSeattle on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:55:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So start the diary then (none)
            Solicit the stories from people who know.

            I personally think it'd be hijacking this diary to start posting them here.

            Or perhaps better, google and see if they're already out there.

            In troubling times, it's good to read true stories about real people doing good things. HeroicStories, free

            by AllisonInSeattle on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:59:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We're lost if we forget those times... (4.00)
          "Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

          The Life of Reason (1905)
          George Santayana (16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952)

      •  A friend who was young in the 60s (4.00)
        Told me about what it was like to visit an underground abortion provider (she was fortunate enough to have the resources to be able to do that).  There was no painkiller whatsoever, so he would turn up the radio so that his neighbors would not hear his patients screaming in pain.

        Sit with that for a moment, Clarence Thomas and Harriet Miers.  Sit with it and be ashamed of yourselves.  (Yes, wishful thinking, but I can wish, can't I?  They haven't taken THAT away yet.)

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