Actress Michelle Williams will star in and produce, This Is Jane, a film about underground abortions in Chicago.
From Brokeback Mountain to Manchester By The Sea, Michelle Williams, always opts to appear in films that aim to challenge the status quo and, in turn, pushes us all to think a little harder, and dig a little deeper internally.
Which is why it comes as no great surprise that Williams’ next film, This Is Jane, look set to continue this pattern.
Based on Laura Kaplan’s non-fiction book, The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service, the film will tell the true story of a Chicago woman who founded and ran the underground abortion service, Jane, according to Deadline.
The film will centre on the group of women who helped other women by teaching themselves how to perform abortions. It’s believed that from 1968 – 1973, the remarkable women assisted 11,000 women by providing safe (although illegal) services. In addition, they provided counselling.
Williams, who is set to play the role of Jane, is producing the film alongside John Lesher and Peter Heller. And, Kimberly Pierce will be directing.
“I’m excited that my book The Story of Jane will become a film,” author Laura Kaplan told Deadline earlier this year. “Twenty years after the book’s publication, and more than 40 years after the events it recounts, Jane’s history is more important now than ever. It tells the true story of what women were willing to do to help other women.”
And it certainly is timely, as the topic of abortion has been hotly debated in recent months as Ireland prepares to vote in an abortion referendum on Friday 25 May.
In comparison to other countries in the developed world, Ireland is considered to still abide by tough and draconian abortion laws. Unlike the UK, terminations are even banned in cases of rape, if a mother’s health is at risk, incest, or if the foetus has fatal abnormalities.
And, if an Irish woman decides to take matters into her own hands, she can be jailed for up to 14 years for having an abortion, such as by taking abortion pills bought online.
This Is Jane does not currently have a release date.
You can read more about Ireland’s abortion referendum here.