If You’re Not Careful, History Will Repeat Itself
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 41m
Director(s): Tia Lessin, Emma Pildes
Where To Watch: Premiering on HBO Max Wednesday 6/8
This was probably one of the most timely documentaries I have ever seen. A film about a fearless group of women known simply as “Janes.” The film was about the ever-important and daring work that they did to make sure women had a choice about their bodies. This was a small story that took place in Chicago during the late 60s and early 70s. One can only assume that there were similar situations in other locations.
There have been several films on the topic, and as per usual, art imitates life in some way as there is a film titled CALL JANE scheduled to be released in October of this year that covers this organization. This is something I’ve never understood about Hollywood but has always been fascinating to me. When a documentary on an important subject is released, there’s usually a feature film not too far behind. I can only assume that studios watch what others are doing and jump while the iron is hot.
The Janes were estimated to have performed nearly 11,000 abortions. Seven of the members were arrested in 1972 and charged with multiple conspiracy counts to commit an abortion (totaling 110 years each in prison potentially.) Thankfully their attorney was able to delay long enough to allow the case Roe v. Wade to be ruled on in the Supreme Court and, in turn, all charges being dropped against the women.
This film comes at a critical time in the world where we are potentially on the steps of taking away women’s rights again and returning the nation to a time when a woman’s life was less important than a “law” that some saw fit to protect them supposedly. I try to avoid politics while writing my reviews, but this is a very timely film and a scary one to see the potential dangers we could have again soon.
While none of the Janes clients were known to have passed away from these procedures, it only proves that even if this becomes law again, it won’t stop abortions; it will only stop safe abortions. That’s the scariest part; women make these decisions because of the issues that a pregnancy could bring to their lives (and the many complications that must be taken into account.)
While nothing my review covers will change anyone’s opinions, I feel that it is an essential film for all to watch. We’re on a slippery slope and don’t want to see our country end up like THE HANDMAID’S TALE (which is supposed to be fiction!)
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