Michigan hotel offers free stay for women travelling to the state for an abortion
The hotel manager said that no one has taken her up on her offer, but she's heard both positive and negative comments about her idea
A manager at a Michigan hotel has reportedly invited all those from states with strict abortion laws who want abortions done, to schedule it in The Wolverine State, and the added perk she's willing to offer is free lodging at her hotel.
"Dear sisters that live in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, or any of the other states that follow with similar laws restricting access [to abortion], We cannot do anything about the way you are being treated in your home-state," Shelley O'Brien, manager of the Yale Hotel, wrote on social media last month.
But she said what she could do to help women seeking abortions is to provide "several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment." The 55-year-old manager compared her idea to the Underground Railroad, a series of secret underground routes that allowed slaves to escape to freedom, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press.
O'Brien said that if a network similar to that is necessary now, she wants to be a part of it. "This is important. This is my line. 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," she said to the news outlet.
"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." O'Brien said that no one has taken her up on her offer, but she's heard both positive and negative comments about her idea.
"I have had one person call to say that he thought it was wrong," she said. "He didn't have Facebook, but he heard about it and he wanted to let me know that he thought what we are doing is wrong. And I’ve been called a baby killer. And it's like, 'No, I’m not killing babies in the basement'. I am just giving someone a place to stay or maybe a ride."
Her heroic move comes after five US states: Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Louisiana, passed legislation that bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected in a fetus. Late last month, Louisana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed a so-called heartbeat bill into law, breaking with his party's ideology.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, where the Yale Hotel is located, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have passed anti-abortion bills in the state. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, however, has reportedly said she plans to veto such bills.