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‘Call Jane’: Is the new Elizabeth Banks’ movie based on a true story?

Bolavip US 10/31/2022 Natalia Lobo
© IMDb

“Call Jane,” starring Elizabeth Banks, is the first feature film by Phyllis Nagy and it tells the story of a group of activists who helped women get abortions in the 60s. Here, check out what was the inspiration behind the film.

Directed by Phyllis Nagy and starring Elizabeth Banks, “Call Jane” (out now) follows a housewife who is trying to terminate a risky pregnancy in the 60s and comes across “Janes”, an underground activists women’s group who take all kinds of risks to provide abortion facilities to women who need it.

The film has received mostly positive reviews after its premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in January. Critics have especially praised Banks and consider his performances as one of the best in her career. 

Alongside Banks, Sigourney Weaver (Alien), Chris Messina (The Sinner) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) round out the cast. If you have watched the film and wonder if it is based on a true-story, keep reading. 

What is the true story of “Call Jane”? 

The film features the real-life clandestine group called Jane Collective, which was based in Chicago and helped women get safe and secure abortions in the late 1960s, when the procedure was illegal. The group stopped its activities when Roe v. Wade guaranteed the constitutional right to get an abortion in 1973. 

However, its protagonist Joy, played by Banks, is a fictional character, as well as the rest of the characters. In the film, Joy is a housewife that had all the checkboxes of a “perfect” life: a nice husband, a teenage daughter and her home. However, when she gets pregnant, her life is at risk as she suffers from a heart condition that will likely kill her unless she terminates her pregnancy. 

In the film, she has to make a petition with the hospital board to get one because abortion is criminalized in Illinois. However, the all-male board votes against the procedure, not caring about the fact that she has a 50% chance of dying. And, sadly, the story, especially at these times, feels extremely real. If you want to learn more about the Janes, you can watch the documentary “The Janes” (available on HBO Max).

 

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