“Mrs. Griffin, your pregnancy is endangering your life.”
Those are the opening words of the trailer for Call Jane, Phyllis Nagy’s Sundance-selected abortion-rights drama starring Elizabeth Banks as Joy Griffin, a housewife seeking an illegal abortion in 1968 Chicago, and Sigourney Weaver as Virginia, the leader of a secret, women-led group called the Janes who help other women access safe abortions.
Premiering on Oct. 28, it’s a well-timed movie in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned in June, which allows states to decide whether or not to ban abortion.
“As the city and the nation are poised on the brink of political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy (Elizabeth Banks) leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening heart condition, she must navigate an all-male medical establishment unwilling to terminate her pregnancy in order to save her life,” reads the official description from Roadside Attractions. “Her journey for a solution leads her to Virginia (Sigourney Weaver), an independent visionary fiercely committed to women’s health, and Gwen (Wunmi Mosaku), an activist who dreams of a day when all women will have access to abortion, regardless of their ability to pay. Joy is so inspired by their work, she decides to join forces with them, putting every aspect of her life on the line.”
Sound familiar? Despite being set a whopping 54 years ago, the events of Call Jane could just as easily have taken place today.
The movie is actually inspired by a true story. Though the characters are not based on real people, there really was a secret group of women’s reproductive rights activists called the Jane Collective that operated in Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s helping women access safe and affordable abortions.
Written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi and directed by Phyllis Nagy, Call Jane also stars Chris Messina, Wunmi Mosaku, Kate Mara, Cory Michael Smith, and Grace Edwards.
Call Jane hits theaters on Oct. 28.
Watch the trailer for Call Jane above.
Main Image: Elizabeth Banks in Call Jane courtesy of Roadside Attractions.