All You Have To Do Is Call

Books on Tape. Sept. 2023. 13:15 hrs. ISBN 9780593615515. $95. F
Loosely based on the real-life Jane network, Maher’s (The Paris Bookseller) latest follows the women behind Jane, a Chicago-based volunteer organization that offers affordable abortions to women in need in the 1970s. The organization, primarily staffed by women who receive in-house medical training, also provides birth control, education, and counseling services. They are busy every day, and Veronica and her staff of volunteers dedicate themselves to helping women make their own decisions about pregnancy, even though they know that they could be arrested for their activities. At the same time, they must also balance troubles at home, relationships, parenting, and workplace pressures. Lauryn Allman narrates with emotion, capturing the varied personalities of the women, including Veronica, her friend and Jane cofounder Siobhan, college professor Margaret, and stay-at-home mom Patty. Allman’s balanced and well-modulated performance clearly conveys Maher’s nuanced discussion of abortion, equal rights, affordable childcare, domestic abuse, and more.
VERDICT At a time when reproductive rights have taken center stage in political debates, this book is a timely reminder of the 1970s struggle for reproductive justice.
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