The militant abortion rights organisation Jane’s Revenge appears to be calling for an “night of rage” in the nation’s capital should the Supreme Court, as is expected, overturn Roe v. Wade later this month.
A flyer signed with the group’s name circulating in Washington, DC reads, “THE NIGHT SCOTUS OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE HIT THE STREETS YOU SAID YOU’D RIOT.”
It continues, “TO OUR OPPRESSORS: IF ABORTIONS AREN’T SAFE, YOU’RE NOT EITHER.’ JANE’S REVENGE.”
Those threats may not be idle. Jane’s Revenge has taken responsibility for the firebombing of multiple anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers since a draft of the high court’s looming Roe v Wade opinion was leaked to Politico in May, claiming attacks in Madison, Wisconsin, Des Moines, Iowa, and other locations.
Very little is concretely known about the group, which operates a website and has spread its messages with graffiti and flyers, but has said that it is comprised of multiple other unidentified groups and does not have any known core members. Some have expressed skepticism that the group is in fact a left-wing militant organisation and postulated that it may instead be a right-wing organisation maneuvering to turn people against the group’s goal of abortion rights for all.
“This is not a declaration of war,” their statement read, in part. “War has been upon us for decades. A war which we did not want, and did not provoke. Too long we have been attacked for asking for basic medical care. Too long have we been shot, bombed, and forced into childbirth without consent.”
Now, facing the imminent demise of Roe v Wade and the functional erasure of abortion access for millions of Americans, Jane’s Revenge is calling for action in Washington DC and cities across the country.
“This is an event that should inspire rage in millions of people who can get pregnant…and yet, the response thusfar has been tepid,” their website home page reads. “We have agonized over this apparent absence of indignation. Why is it that we are so afraid to unleash hell upon those who are destroying us?”
The organisation’s tactics have divided abortion rights advocates, many of whom have both moral and strategic objections to the use of violence in the battle for rights. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, for instance, strongly condemned the attack in Madison.
“Our work to protect continued access to reproductive care is rooted in love,” group president Tanya Atkinson said. “We condemn all forms of violence and hatred within our communities.”
But Jane’s Revenge, whose Night of Rage name is a callback to the Weathermen’s “Days of Rage” campaign during the trial of the Conspiracy Eight in Chicago in 1969, is arguing that mainstream organisations like Planned Parenthood have not been up to the challenge of defending abortions — and channeling the rage many feel at the state of the mainstream resistance or lack thereof to the impending Supreme Court decision.
“Several weeks ago, we watched and waited as self-proclaimed ‘feminist organizations’ and non-profits took the lead on arranging their demure little rallies for freedom,” Jane’s Revenge’s website reads. “We were told to let them handle it, and to defer to the political machinery that has thusfar failed to secure our liberation.”
In anticipation of the Roe decision, which could come as early as this week, President Joe Biden signed a bill extending security protection to the family members of Supreme Court justices. Barriers have already been erected around the Court itself.