Podcast | After Dobbs, the ‘abortion underground’ is back

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, advocates are pushing back to assure that people still have access to reproductive care.

Protesters outside the Supreme Court

Abortion-rights and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 24, 2022. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)

Last June the Supreme Court transformed the landscape of reproductive rights overnight when it overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving the power to determine the legality of abortion to individual states. For many the decision also signaled a need for a new abortion underground.

For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we listen in on a conversation about this new landscape featuring Kelsea McLain, deputy director of abortion advocacy and reproductive-justice organization the Yellow Hammer Fund; and Judith Arcana, a member of Chicago’s pre-Roe underground abortion services organization the Jane Collective.

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The two women share their personal abortion stories with journalist Megan Burbank, and discuss the history of abortion and misconceptions about reproductive rights as well as the legal challenges facing organizations and individuals who support the rights of individuals to make their own choices about reproduction.

The current landscape of reproductive rights has become highly politicized, but these panelists offer a framing that suggests more complexity than what’s been normalized.

This conversation took place May 5, 2023. Read Megan Burbank's article about the Jane Collective here.

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