back to top

What Does An America Without Abortion Access Really Look Like?

Abortion access is under attack -- politicians are even trying to repeal Roe v. Wade for crying out loud! -- but 50 years ago, a group of women took matters into their own hands. Have you heard of them? I hadn't either. They called themselves the Jane Collective...

Posted on

What Does An America Without Abortion Access Really Look Like?

Have you heard of the Jane Collective? Up until last May, I hadn't either, but it's an astonishing piece of women's history, and (unfortunately) more relevant now than ever.

The Jane Collective was a group of women in Chicago who formed an underground network for abortion providers, ultimately providing over 11,000 safe and illegal abortions from 1968 until their arrest in 1972. Their clever (female!) lawyer delayed their trial until after Roe v. Wade was passed, and all the charges against the Janes were dropped. Ultimately, their story is an empowering one of women coming together to help each other when society won't.

In our current political climate, with right wing politicians fighting to restrict abortion access at every turn, I think it's crucial to show what our country actually looks like when women can't control their own bodies. To that end, I'm making a feature film about the Jane Collective, called Ask for Jane. My writer and I have already had a successful reading of the screenplay with the New York Women in Film & Television, and were one of three finalists with Participant Media in their Works 4 Progress Initiative last year. We plan to shoot the film this June in New York, and we need your help.

It's hard to fund a film about abortion in a male-centric and politically cautious film industry, so I decided to take a page from the Janes and use the power of community. I launched a crowdfund at the beginning of March -- Women's History Month! -- to raise our modest budget of $200,000. We’re 10% funded, and we have two weeks left to get to 80% or Seed&Spark doesn’t let us keep anything. The phrase “all or nothing” is pretty literal here!

10% doesn’t sound like a lot, but I think it’s rather astonishing when you consider that almost 150 different people have contributed to this project — most of whom I’ve never even met!

So I have an idea. What if we cast the net even wider? What if every person who supported Ask for Jane, every person who wants to see a movie get made about women, for women, and by women, every person who believes in abortion access, gave just $1?

In these times of political upheaval, there are a lot of worthy causes to put your money into, and I believe that a movie depicting what our country actually looks like when abortion is outlawed is one of those worthy causes.

If you feel the same, send this story to 5 of your friends. Share it on Facebook. Talk about it at happy hour. This movie is for you, and together we can bring it to life.


Cait Johnston

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!