A Michigan hotel is offering free rooms, as well as transportation to and from the nearest abortion clinic, to women coming to Michigan for an abortion because they can’t get one in their own states, CNN reports.
Over the past several weeks and months, several states have passed restrictive abortion laws, usually so-called “fetal heartbeat laws,” which ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Since a fetal heartbeat can be detected at six weeks, and since many women don’t know they’re pregnant until after the sixth week, these laws effectively ban all abortions.
Shelley O’Brien, manager of The Yale Hotel in Yale, Michigan, is not happy with that. And while she admits that there’s nothing she can do about other states’ abortion laws, what she can do is try to help out women in Michigan, where abortion is legal. To that end, she’s offering a free room, as well as free transportation to and from the nearest abortion clinic, to any woman who comes to Michigan for the procedure.
In a Facebook post, O’Brien referred to women in such states as “sisters.” “Dear sisters that live in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, or any of the other states that follow with similar laws restricting access. We cannot do anything about the way you are being treated in your home-state. But, if you can make it to Michigan, we will support you with several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment,” she wrote.
Hotel manager's Facebook offer: Need an abortion? Come to Michigan. https://t.co/uZ7VRAEK74 BRAVO YALE HOTEL OWNER !! No one has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body !— SheilaChicago (@ChicagoSheila) June 9, 2019
Speaking to The Detroit Free Press, O’Brien said that she’s simply doing what she can to prevent the tide of rolling back women’s reproductive rights.
“There’s no coming back from this. You start taking away the right for women to control their own bodies, and we’re done for as a civilization. I can’t stop what’s happening, but I have the resources to maybe help someone in that position, and especially knowing that women are coming from other states already,” she said.
O’Brien promised to donate 25 percent of the revenue that is a direct result of the policy into a special fund to help pay for women’s abortions. As of this writing, that’s about $400, she said.
She also says she’s dealt with a couple of people who are less than enthusiastic about her offer. She said that one person called her a baby killer, while another said that they didn’t actually read her post because they don’t use Facebook, but that they had just “heard about her.”