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Spec Script About Underground Abortion Service Acquired by Amazon

8 May 2017 10:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

From “Roe v. Wade: The Debate over Abortion”: Mathangi Ganesh/YouTube

Amazon could be bringing the story of underground abortion providers in Chicago to the cinema. Per Deadline, the studio has obtained “This Is Jane,” a spec screenplay by Dan Loflin (“Supernatural”). The script is based on Laura Kaplan’s non-fiction book “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.” A director isn’t attached yet.

“The Story of Jane” “follows a Chicago woman who founded and maintained the underground abortion service ‘Jane,’ a group of women who taught themselves how to perform abortions in the years before Roe V. Wade,” Deadline summarizes. “For four years, from 1968 to 1973, they helped over 11,000 women by providing safe — albeit illegal — services to women denied by the medical establishment. They also provided health education and counseling.”

“I’m excited that my book ‘The Story of Jane’ will become a film,” Kaplan commented. “Twenty years after the book’s publication, and more than 40 years after the events it recounts, Jane’s history is more important now than ever. It tells the true story of what women were willing to do to help other women.”

The news of a “This Is Jane” film comes at a time when many pro-choice U.S. citizens are fearing that illegal, at-home abortions will be the new normal (again). The much-maligned Gop healthcare bill — which still requires Senate approval — would bar any federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. And in April the fascist-in-chief signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Hopefully, “This Is Jane” will galvanize anyone who thinks abortion should be outlawed.

Loflin developed the screenplay for “This Is Jane” with Peter Heller. The former will serve as exec producer and the latter will produce. John Lesher’s Le Grisbi Productions is also producing.

Stories about the necessity of legal abortion and reproductive rights are vital, especially now. But they are primarily women’s issues, so we’re concerned that only men seem to be attached to “This Is Jane.” Here’s hoping that a woman is hired to helm this incredible feminist story about women supporting each other when the government would not.

Films like “Vera Drake” and “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” have explored the repercussions underground abortions have on both patients and providers, as have episodes of Heidi Thomas’ “Call the Midwife.” The last few years have also seen several documentaries exploring reproductive rights in the U.S. including Tracy Droz Tragos’ “Abortion: Stories Women Tell” and Dawn Porter’s “Trapped.”

Recently, producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward announced their plans to bring the story of Roe v. Wade to the big screen. Jennifer Majka (“Beautiful Devils”) will write the script about the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that granted women in the U.S. the right to safe, legal abortion for Owen and Hayward’s Monumental Pictures. No word yet on a director.

Spec Script About Underground Abortion Service Acquired by Amazon was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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