The group Jane’s Revenge is (depending on who you ask) an anarchist collective securing reproductive freedom or a far-left terrorist organization pitching (violent) fits. In the past weeks they have taken credit (blame?) for vandalizing and/or firebombing pregnancy resource centers, typically including variations of the slogan “If abortions aren’t safe, then neither are you.”
On May 30, 2022 Jane’s Revenge released a statement calling others to a “Night of Rage” if and when the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturns Roe v. Wade. Below is their statement, with my thoughts in italics.
NIGHT OF RAGE:
AN AUTONOMOUS CALL TO ACTION AGAINST PATRIARCHAL SUPREMACY
Within the month we anticipate a verdict will be issued that overturns Roe v Wade, setting in motion an evisceration of abortion access across the so-called United States.
It was the United States for almost 200 years before Roe v. Wade. It’ll still be the United States after.
This is an event that should inspire rage in millions of people who can get pregnant…and yet, the response thus far has been tepid.
Removing abortion access doesn’t inspire rage in many people because about half of Americans, including about half of American women, oppose abortion to begin with. The response has been tepid because Americans are tepid on abortion. They are split on whether it’s morally acceptable and whether and to what extent it should be illegal. I suspect for the most part they just don’t want to talk or think about it if they don’t have to, because abortion is inherently upsetting. I’ll leave you to muse as to why.
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? Fear of state repression is valid, but this goes deeper than that.
1) Outlawing elective abortion is not destroying people. Quite literally the opposite, actually.
2) Why do you assume the absence of indignation is due to fear? Maybe it’s due to actual ambivalence or, in many cases, even joy. If Roe is overturned, I’ll be celebrating.
Your anger has been stolen from you.
My anger hasn’t been stolen from me. I’ve been angry about abortion for a long time. Abortion kills our children, and in particular, in the United States, there are places that allow abortion at any stage in pregnancy for any reason. Here’s a DC clinic emphasizing they will abort past 26 weeks without any medical indication. This is homicide. It’s an atrocity. My anger is right here.
To this we say: no more. We need to get angry.
We need the state to feel our full wrath.
We need to express this madness fully and with ferocity. We need to quit containing ourselves.
The “Shout Your Abortion” movement was already pushing people to our side. I imagine “Night of Rage”-style approaches would do the same with even greater effect. I hope you don’t harm anyone, but if you embrace violence, I hope (though don’t expect) you get extensive news coverage. [Read more – How #ShoutYourAbortion Changed My Mind]
We need them to be afraid of us.
Mm. We’re not.
Last week, an evil creature slaughtered 19 children and two teachers in their classroom in Texas. While some may call this horrific act “senseless” or “random,” we know that’s not the case. We know that this was an act of male domination and patriarchal violence, meant to make women, children and teachers live in fear. We know it is deeply connected to the reproductive violence about to be unleashed on this land by an illegitimate institution founded in white male supremacy.
You’re equating someone shooting schoolchildren to laws making it illegal to kill children in utero.
We cannot think of a clearer example in this time of the need for autonomously organized self-defense networks.
Firebombing pregnancy resource centers is not self-defense. …Words I never thought I’d have to say.
We cannot think of a clearer example of the desperate need for those who can get pregnant to learn how to confront misogynistic violence directly.
1) It isn’t misogynistic to say our children are valuable and merit protection before birth. Perhaps that’s why views on abortion don’t correlate to gender.
2) It isn’t violence to outlaw violence. Abortion ends human lives. It’s a human rights violation, and it should be illegal.
We also believe this unlearning of our self-containment can begin in the streets when we organize alongside one another to confront state forces of evil and domination.
“Unlearning of our self-containment” is a weird way to ask people to attack others. But then a big part of the defense of abortion is opaque and euphemistic rhetoric. [Read more – ACOG has spoken: 13 phrases we are no longer supposed to use regarding abortion]
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.
“Demure”…? Ironic that this part gives paternalistic vibes.
We were told to let them handle it, and to defer to the political machinery that has thus far failed to secure our liberation.
Being unable to have your preborn children killed at any stage for any reason isn’t slavery. You continue to co-opt language and ideas from people who are actually fighting oppression.
In a world where the news media has an attention span of about 24 hours on their best day,
Actually kind of agree here.
we knew these hollow gestures would fail to capture attention. We knew we were witnessing counterinsurgency in action. We cannot sit idly by anymore while our anger is yet again channeled into Democratic party fundraisers and peace parades with the police.
Wait, so are the only options to either (a) fund the Democratic Party or (b) firebomb organizations trying to give resources to women and children in need? That’s as far as your creativity goes?
We were even told we must cooperate with them because they work alongside abortion providers and clinic escorts…a group of people who, at this moment in time, cannot possibly risk their lives or their livelihoods any further than they already are. We honor these providers and their service. We do not honor those who would use them as a shield against direct and militant action. We believe the greatest honor we could give them would be to act meaningfully in their name.
Do they agree with you? Have you asked them? I’d be genuinely curious what abortion providers and clinic escorts think of this approach. At minimum, as of this writing, organizations such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL have not condemned any actions by Jane’s Revenge. On the other hand, abortion rights advocate Robin Marty, who works closely with abortion providers and clinic staff, has spoken against the vandalism.
The time to act was decades ago. The next best time is now.
Yes, why didn’t abortion advocates start committing more violent crimes much sooner? Mysterious.
Whatever form your fury takes, the first step is feeling it.
Again, if people aren’t feeling angry – especially angry enough to resort to violence – maybe it’s not repression. Maybe most people just don’t agree with you.
The next step is carrying that anger out into the world and expressing it physically.
Vague. If you mean go work out: sure. If you mean Molotov cocktails: probably a terrible idea.
Consider this your call to action.
On the night the final ruling is issued——a specific date we cannot yet predict, but we know is arriving imminently——we are asking for courageous hearts to come out after dark.
“please bravely sneak around at night” lol ok
Whoever you are and wherever you are, we are asking for you to do what you can to make your anger known.
We have selected a time of 8pm for actions nationwide to begin, but know that this is a general guideline. There may be other considerations involved in planning time and place. We do not claim to speak for every community or crew. We are simply calling out to you. And we hope you answer our cries.
To the cis male allies who would be interested in joining us in the streets, we say: you are certainly welcome, but you must use your privilege to shield and support us in a way that also enables us to get angry. Do not police us. Do not tell us what is and isn’t appropriate. But do aid us when we are in need.
Do you mean only women can object to violent rampages? Because, for the record, I am a woman and I object.
We must also say: do not wait until the verdict arrives to organize.
Make plans now. Take action now.
It is not enough to share images on Twitter and Instagram (though that is still important to do). We cannot sustain this movement any longer with the same few hundred people who have been beaten down over and over again.
Do you mean your position is relatively small and unpopular? Can’t say I’m surprised.
We must not only circulate this call on social media, but reach out to communities who may not be in touch with “radical circles” online.
Mass action requires mass outreach.
We would not be issuing this call if we did not believe in our bones that this kind of action *is* possible. We have witnessed the wom*n of Argentina, Mexico and Poland organize autonomously for their reproductive liberation. We know it can be done…but we need every soul reading this to do their part.
You know, I never thought I would see a serious threat to Roe in my lifetime. I was prepared to keep fighting to get Roe overturned for the rest of my life. In my years of activism, I’ve been used to the pro-life side fighting against the status quo and decades of inertia, and I’ve been prepared for and have witnessed many defeats. In fact I still can’t believe that we might be about to achieve a truly significant legal victory. But it’s interesting to watch the other side start to realize that they are probably about to lose the status quo, and that they are about to have to live in a country whose legal approach to abortion goes dramatically against their deeply held values. In some ways I sympathize. It sucks, doesn’t it?
To those who work to oppress us: If abortion isn’t safe, you aren’t either. We are everywhere.
This changes nothing for me. Our children deserve so much more than dismemberment on demand and without apology, and I am never, ever going to let this go.
Executive Director, Secular Pro-Life