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In this 700k audio clip former Jane volunteers (pictured above) tell what motivated them to begin doing the abortions themselves. The Service had a complex and often difficult relationship with an abortionist named "Mike". Although no one questioned his skill as an abortionist, he was not actually a medical doctor. Eventually "Mike" began training Jane volunteers to do the procedure. After "Mike" departed, Jane became an all woman service.

The Abortion Counseling Service began as an underground referral group. Eventually Jane members decided to perform the abortions themselves.

Former Jane members estimate that they performed more than 11,000 illegal abortions. Working under difficult clandestine conditions, Jane became legendary on the streets of Chicago for the quality of its care and the dedication of its members.

Audio and individual pictures are from Jane: An Abortion Service, a film by Kate Kirtz and Nell Lundy(1996). Background photo by Elaine Wessel

Note: This audio is also available through our Jane Special Feature

Woman symbol

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