The Jane Collective (1969–1973)
The Jane Collective was an underground organization that provided illegal abortion services in Chicago, Illinois, from 1969 until abortions became legal in 1973. Formally called the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation, the Jane Collective was a member organization and working group within Chicago Women’s Liberation Union that challenged the Illinois state legislature by providing abortions before they were legal in the US. The organization, commonly referred to as Jane, was founded by women’s liberation activists in Chicago in 1969 to reduce the number of unsafe and expensive abortions being performed by unqualified providers. It is estimated that from 1969 to 1973 the Jane Collective provided nearly twelve thousand abortions. The Jane Collective was a healthcare initiative and a political education project that provided abortion and reproductive healthcare solutions to thousands of women and brought attention to the many unsafe illegal abortions done in Chicago.