‘Call Jane’ Trailer Reveals the Harrowing Fight for Abortion Rights—as History Repeats Itself

·2 min read
Roadside Attractions
Roadside Attractions

Unfortunately, the timing for the trailer for Call Jane “couldn’t be better” for this point in American history—which is a truly depressing, angering cliché to be able to use for this subject matter. As the devastating effects of the overturning of Roe v. Wade begin to reveal themselves, the new film has transformed from a period piece about an incredible moment in American history into a searing chronicle of how history is now repeating itself..

While abortion road movies have been on the rise in the past few years—Unpregnant, Plan B, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always, to name a few—the new footage of Call Jane gives an inside look at one of the most impactful underground abortion counseling services of the late 1960s. In the first look, the Jane Collective activists assist pregnant women in and around the Chicago area looking to end their pregnancy.

Based on a true story, Joy (Elizabeth Banks) finds the Jane Collective via a “Call Jane”' advertisement she finds on the street. With a possibly fatal pregnancy, Joy, a typical 1960s housewife, heads to the clinic to get some help. After the ladies save her life, Joy decides it's her duty to give back to other women around the nation.

The goal: help every woman looking for abortion services. But one doctor and a flurry of volunteers (Sigourney Weaver and Wunmi Messina, to name a couple) won’t measure up to the hordes of women dialing in for assistance with their health. How do you choose which women to help first when all of them need help ASAP?

“It’s life or death for some of them,” a woman at the collective exclaims.

“It’s life or death for all of them,” another corrects.

Call Jane debuted at Sundance, earning stellar reviews celebrating Banks’ fantastic performance. “Banks is asked to do a lot to portray Joy, tracking her through major changes in a minimum of time, and the actress delivers,” IndieWire wrote. “With just a flick of her eyes or a certain kind of exhale, she sells Joy’s entire inner life.”

The Jane Collective worked out of Chicago from 1969 to 1973, leading up to the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that lifted abortion bans nationwide. On top of providing abortions to women, Jane sought to make the procedure safe and affordable, especially during a time in which women were seeking out incredibly expensive, dangerous options with no other place to turn.

Call Jane will be released in theaters on October 28.

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