‘The Janes,’ a Lively Documentary About the Movement to Provide Safe Abortions Pre-Roe

In five years (1968-1973), the Janes provided an estimated 11,000 safe abortions to women and girls in and around the city of Chicago. The documentary The Janes provides a somewhat chronological account of their work, ending with the public arrest of several of its members, the threat of long prison sentences, and the interventions of their attorney. But it’s so much more than a mere history lesson—it’s a vibrant, attentive film that emphasizes the collaborative spirit and radical potential of a small community able to do tremendous work on a large scale.