A group who is named after a collective of women that operated an illegal abortion clinic in Chicago during the late 1960s and 70s, has claimed responsibility for attacks on property and promised there is more to come if women’s rights continue to be curtailed.
According to a manifesto (full text below) released by a group, calling itself ‘Jane’s Revenge’, has said that it carried out, now multiple, attacks on property in the US in response to a leaked draft showing the US Supreme Court is planning to dismantle Roe v. Wade.
Even though the issue of women’s right to abortion was decided nearly 50 years ago in America, the right wing in the US never quit fighting, and oftentimes it feels like the Democrats could never be bothered to. Perhaps this is so often why rightwing legislation gets passed and cops brutalize citizens while the Democratic establishment kneels in kente cloth and scolds its base for protesting.
This is part of the reason so many on the “left” (whatever that really means) feel disillusioned with the party. It is also why, so often, those that want to expand (or in this case simply retain) their rights, feel the need to take matters into their own hands. This is precisely what the Jane Collective began doing over 50 years ago.
The Jane Collective, officially the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation, was an underground group of mostly women that operated illegal abortion clinics in Chicago from 1969 to 1973.
The group originally referred people coming to them seeking an abortion to male doctors that would preform the procedure discretely, though often for a substantial amount of money (which is what happens when you make things illegal see drugs, etc.).
The story goes that the collective eventually found out that one of the male doctors they had been using was uncredentialled. This worried some and reportedly caused a few to leave the group. However, some of the women decided that if this guy could do abortions without a medical license, why the hell couldn’t they?
Many in the collective then learned various techniques used at the time (some safer than others) to preform abortions, and began doing such procedures themselves. They accepted little, sometimes no money to preform these illegal procedures. What they did accept went to pay forward for abortions for those that couldn’t afford them and expand operations.
And operations were difficult, the Janes had to operate numerous locations to avoid police raids and arrest. However they weren’t always successful.
In 1972, on the eve of the Roe decision, one of the Jane Collective’s locations was stormed by police. 7 members of the group were arrested and threatened with over 100 years in prison each. Thankfully, their lawyer was able to delay sentencing long enough that Roe v. Wade was decided and all charges against the collective were dropped.
During their operations the Jane Collective were able to offer numerous women that were incapable of receiving legal abortions, just as many are today even before the anticipated SCOTUS ruling on Roe. According to all evidence (that I have been able to find), the group never preformed an procedure that ended in the death of one of the women that visited them.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, we will find ourselves in a very similar world to where the Jane Collective found itself. Many states punishing those that seek and provide safe abortion procedures being jailed, sometimes for life. Some states are even seeking to liberally dole out the DEATH penalty (very “pro-life”). Pushing man to seek illegal, and perhaps often dangerous methods of terminating pregnancies.
This will mean, if people wish to ensure that women are to retain their bodily autonomy, and be safe from certain death in cases of complications like ectopic pregnancies, Americans must be willing to break unjust laws (officially I am not necessarily encouraging this).
This is essentially what Jane’s Revenge is doing, except they are going on the offensive. The group is taking the “no justice, no peace” ideology to those that are seeking to curb women’s rights.
To speak frankly the group is using terrorist tactics, violent tactics. Though it must be clearly stated that they have (again to any evidence I have so far seen) threatened NO harm against any people. They have simply threatened violence directed at property (which if you have listened to The Free China Pod, you know is not the same as hurting people).
To many this seems radical, and to be fair it is a little radical, however property destruction has often the tactics used against fascists and authoritarians throughout. Think of the Boston Tea Party, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the Luddites destroying machinery, Suffragette Emily Davison stepping in front of the Queen’s horse, slaves disabling equipment they were forced to use, and the list goes on and on.
People attacking property is a tale as old as time itself, and it has been used to great effect throughout history. And that is not to even get into armed self defense that has been used by the like of the protesters at Stonewall, the Union Army, Indians in the First War of Independence, enslaved people from time immemorial, and again the list goes on.
Jane’s Revenge has simply promised that “[i]f abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either,” in graffiti scrawled on the walls of “anti-choice” and “fake clinics.” Again it must be reiterated that the group has not threatened harm to anyone’s anatomy, simply against their edifices.
The group has claimed responsibility for an attack on an anti-abortion office in Madison, Wisconsin where a Molotov was thrown in damaging one room and an exterior wall was defaced with spray paint. No one was remotely injured in the activities. In fact the anti-choice movement has been far more anti-life than any movement seeking to keep abortion legal.
Even if you look at “ancient history” the RAND Corporation’s study that found there were hundreds of violent attack against abortion providers including acid attacks, bombings, and even numerous murders. Looking more recently there has been even more violence by the crowd that uses the oxymoronic moniker of “pro-life”.
In one instance in 2015, a murder (but of course still “pro-life” remember that), killed numerous people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, including a mother of three. He said “no more baby parts,” after he was detained (they always seem to bring the conservatives in alive, strange), which is an talking point of many right-wing pundits on TV and Radio, such as Bill O’Reilly that pushed the false narrative of “Tiller the Baby Killer” until one of his fans shot Dr. George Tiller dead when he was attending church in 2009.
Members of Jane’s Revenge have now seemingly popped up in various places throughout the United States. It is impossible to know if these were original member, as the collective’s promised “We are in your city, We are in every city,” or whether they were inspired by the acts of members in Madison.
In any case, it seems that with women’s autonomy being attacked at every angle, that membership in the group will likely grow quickly. The group has also threatened that institutions opposing abortion that refuse to close will, like the abortion providers that have continued to operate, be attacked.
Of course my hope is that none of this is needed and abortion rights are codified into law. However, with the recent failure, thanks to Democratic king Joe Manchin’s (a Republican in Democrat clothing that the establishment refuses to correct) decision to vote against abortion rights, we may be headed for a war of attrition.
If this is the case then those that fail to act must deal with the consequences of their actions to strip women of rights that they have had for nearly 50 years. This comes with all the rage that should come with becoming a second-class citizen again.
The manifesto from Jane’s Revenge
Earlier this week the office of a Wisconsin anti abortion organization was firebombed.
I have received a statement from the group claiming responsibility. They call themselves “Jane’s Revenge” (a reference to the Jane Collective).
— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@IwriteOK) May 10, 2022
First currently know message spray painted by Jane’s Revenge
Alpha Pregancy Center, a religious organization crisis pregnancy center located in Reisterstown Maryland, was targeted last night. “Jane’s Revenge” was found spray painted near the entrance of the center. Thread below goes into details about this autonomous group. https://t.co/gwDuPSZMju pic.twitter.com/4679D2sBhy
— Wayward.streamer (@StreamerWayward) May 15, 2022
One of the first subsequent examples of graffiti from Jane’s Revenge
This was found inside of a Target. “REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ALWAYS” followed by janes revenge, hoping to send people looking got more information. pic.twitter.com/qvzQ5mLI2I
— Wayward.streamer (@StreamerWayward) May 15, 2022