New Episode of Ms.’s On the Issues Podcast: Heather Booth and the Jane Collective (in Memory of Dorothy Pitman Hughes)


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular, issues and policy-focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality. 

A new episode—Fifteen Minutes of Feminism: Heather Booth and the Jane Collective (in Memory of Dorothy Pitman Hughes)—is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotify and

Before Roe v. Wade, if you were in need of an abortion in Chicago, there was a number you could call, run by young women who called themselves Jane. They’d provide abortions to women who had nowhere else to turn. It was started by Heather Booth when she was 19 years old. In this episode, Booth joins Dr. Goodwin to discuss the history of the Jane Collective and the connections between our pre-Roe past and post-Roe future. Where do activists go from here?

A full transcript of the episode may be found here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“Over time, women I recruited into the Jane network themselves learned how to perform the abortions—and the women of Jane performed 11,000 abortions between 1965 and 1973.” —Heather Booth

“But not only was Jane not about a profit motive, it was about building a women’s community, a caring community, and so there was a front room where people were cared for. Some women came with their children. Many already had children and just weren’t prepared to have another child.” —Heather Booth

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host and Executive Producer Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email