The Janes


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Fri, May 5, 2023 4:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Documentary Feature
Release Year:2022
Run Time:101 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Tia Lessin
Emma Pildes


On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in America. The ruling sparked outrage in a majority of the country.

Six weeks after the SCOTUS decision, voters in Kansas rejected a constitutional amendment by 59-41% that would have denied the right to an abortion across that state. But that hasn’t discouraged many states from pushing ahead with various anti-abortion laws that could lead millions of American women to return to the days of illegal and life-threatening non-medical abortions.

Until abortion became legal in 1973, those kind of dangerous procedures were happening in cities like Chicago. But a group of courageous young women risked their freedom trying to help women desperately seeking abortions.

To shine a light on this issue that is in the news every day, the Democrats of the Red Rocks (DORR) Film Club is sponsoring the showing of “The Janes” at the Sedona International Film Festival’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Friday, May 5 at 4 pm. There will be a panel discussion and Q & A session following the film featuring DORR Board and Film Club members.

“The Janes” is a 2022 American documentary film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022, four months before a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion for the abortion case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization led to protests by pro-choice advocates across the U.S., and two weeks before SCOTUS overturned Roe. “The Janes” tells the story of how in the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago where seven women who were part of a clandestine network were arrested. Using code names, fronts, and safe houses to protect themselves and their work, this group of unlikely outlaws risked their personal and professional lives to build an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves "Jane."

“The Janes” offers first-hand accounts from the women at the center of the group, many speaking on the record for the first time, of how they defied the state legislature that outlawed abortion, the Catholic Church that condemned it, and the Chicago Mob that was profiting from it. In the pre-Roe v. Wade era—a time when abortion was a crime in most states and even circulating information about abortion was a felony in Illinois—the Janes provided low-cost and free abortions to an estimated 11,000 women. Time Magazine called the film "essential viewing for a post-Roe America." The Atlantic commented that "the lesson from The Janes is that, in the absence of justice and political power, there's enormous potential for collective action."

About Democrats of the Red Rocks:
Democrats of the Red Rocks is an all-volunteer organization serving Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, and the Verde Valley communities that has championed voter rights since 2003. Among DORR’s events are a monthly “Breakfast,” and a monthly “Zoom Film Club,” where attendees engage in lively discussion. DORR welcomes all independent-minded citizens and volunteers at its office located at 105 Roadrunner Drive, Suite 2A in West Sedona. For more information on DORR membership, programs, and events, visit or email at or call 928-212-1357.