we were of use

Diary Entry 45: Judith,  71 (Chicago, IL, 1974)

Judith Arcana shares her experiences as a Jane in The Abortion Counseling Service of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (usually known as JANE*), the underground abortion service in Chicago,  and her own abortion experience soon after the Roe v. Wade decision.

Judith Arcana is a writer – and a Jane, a member of the feminist underground service that helped more than eleven thousand women and girls have safe illegal abortions in Chicago before the Roe decision in January of 1973. She worked in the service for two years, and then taught classes on women’s health and sexuality for the Women’s Liberation School. Last year she published a fiction zine rooted in abortion service history (Keesha and Joanie and JANE ); her story collection about tattooing and abortion, called Hello. This is Jane. – is currently seeking a publisher. Visit Judith’s website: http://www.juditharcana.com/.

(Published on August 26, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera | Location: Portland, OR)

Part II

*For more information about JANE read Laura Kaplan’s book, The Story of Jane.

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lo que nos quitan es la dignidad

Diary Entry 39: Serena P., 45 (Quito, Ecuador 1989 and Sevilla, España 1992)

Serena comparte su experiencias con un aborto clandestino en Ecuador y otro aborto en España cuando era una inmigrante indocumentada. También nos cuenta sus experiencas con dos abortos espontáneos y de dar a luz a una de sus hijas.

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Serena shares her experiences of seeking a clandestine abortion in Ecuador and of obtaining an abortion in Spain as an undocumented immigrant. She also shares her experiences with two miscarriages and the birth of one of her daughters.

(Published on August 5, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera | Location: Miami, FL)

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you have a choice

Diary Entry 37: Sondra B., 85 1/2 (Bronx, NY late 1950s and Rockland County, NY mid 1970s)

Sondra shares her abortion stories; one in the 1950s, before abortion was legal in the United States, and another in the 1970s.

(Published on July 29, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera | Location: New York, NY)

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it was illegal

Diary Entry 27: Devra W., 67 (Los Angeles, CA, 1966, 1969 and 1970)

Devra shares her abortion experiences, including one illegal abortion in 1966 and two menstrual extractions at Planned Parenthood, in Los Angeles, CA,  after abortion became legal in CA. She also discusses her experience in the Women’s Liberation Movement and how talking to other women at women’s groups about reproductive choices was essential to her abortion experience.

(Published on May 15, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera | Location: Los Angeles, CA)

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I never regretted it for a moment

Diary Entry 19: Jean R., 73 (Rosarito Beach, Mexico, 1964/65 and San Bernardino, CA, 1965/66)

Jean, a mother of two, shares her experiences of seeking two abortions in the 1960s, before Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court case, guaranteed the right to safe and legal abortions in the United States.

(Published on March 20, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera | Location: Salinas, CA)

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abortion was the right decision for me

Diary Entry 11:  Ilene Y., 67 (Manhattan, NY, 1970)

Ilene shares her story of obtaining an abortion in New York City in 1970, the year that abortion was legalized in New York State and three years before Roe v. Wade, the historic Supreme Court case guaranteed the right to safe and legal abortions in the United States.

(Published on January 23, 2014 | Listener: Melissa Madera |Location: New York, NY)

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It was terrible to remember

Diary Entry 4:  Simone, 51 (Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, 1981)

Simone shares her abortion experience in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil in 1981 where abortion was and still is prohibited by law. Currently, Brazilian law states that a pregnancy can only be terminated if it was a result of a rape, the child would not survive outside of the womb, or if the woman’s health is in danger.  It is estimated that 800,000 to 1 million people have illegal abortions in Brazil every year.

(Published on December 5, 2013 | Listener: Melissa Madera |Location: New York, NY)

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