‘The Janes’ review: How an underground group of Chicago activists responded to the illegality of abortion | app

Then and now, Chicago was “a city where people did stuff.” He got things done, stirred up trouble, made no small plans. That, said one of the clandestine abortion providers interviewed in the terrifyingly relevant new documentary “The Janes,” which premieres Wednesday, was the “beauty” of the place.

The word “beauty” sounds shocking in this context, and the film knows it. “The Janes” directors Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes are well aware of how documentaries about our recent past have a way of anticipating our near future. In 2022, a majority of American citizens still support abortion rights. But with the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade of the United States Supreme Court which is likely heading for its doom this summer, in dozens of states, recriminalizing this right could take us right back to 1968 and before.

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