If you live in a state where your ability to get an abortion has been (or soon will be) blocked, a hotel owner in Michigan has an offer for you: Shelly O’Brian says she’ll offer any woman who needs an abortion free lodging at the Yale Hotel as well as transportation before and after her procedure.
Hatred in one phone call, a $100 donation in the next. That was Sunday morning for the Yale Hotel’s general manager after she posted on Facebook that the hotel would offer free stays to women coming to Michigan for an abortion…
“I’ve had people telling me I should die,” O’Brian told TIME. “I’ve had people threatening to burn my building down. I’ve had people praying that somebody hurts me or burns my building down. I really did not expect such venomous hatred.”
But the opposite side of the debate has also reached out to her.
“I’ve been flooded with overwhelmingly positive responses,” O’Brian said. “I have little, old ladies coming in and writing me $25 checks to put towards the cause.”
O’Brian’s decision comes on the heels of Georgia, Alabama, and other Republican-dominated states passing some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — outlawing the procedure at the detection of a heartbeat, which is before many women even realize they are pregnant. As women’s rights advocates have said repeatedly, those laws won’t stop abortions; they’ll only make it harder for women to get safe ones.
O’Brian has already had one person take her up on her offer. But even if the cynics were right that she’s just doing this for the publicity, since most women won’t (or can’t) travel that far, it’s one heck of a marketing stunt.
For the sake of all guests and staff, I hope O’Brian has increased security measures. There are people out there who care about life so much that they won’t hesitate to do something drastic in order to prove their point.
(Screenshot via Google Maps)