After the State of Alabama banned abortion, Shelley O'Brien, a resident of Michigan, posted a message on Facebook urging women who were traveling to gain access to abortion, to avail accommodation at her hotel for free.
After being signed into law earlier last month by the state of Alabama the anti-abortion ban is one of the most restrictive legislation to be passed across the country. As a result, it has become nearly impossible to get an abortion in the state. However, amidst this restriction, emerged a hotel manager who offered free accommodation at The Yale Hotel for women who were traveling outside their state to undergo the procedure. Shelley O'Brien, a resident of Michigan posted a message on Facebook regarding the same.
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, began the post. But, if you can make it to Michigan, we will support you with several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment. It continued. This was indeed a bold step taken by the mother of three who lives in a highly conservative town which is populated by less than 2,000 people.
According to a report by CNN, O'Brien said, "Women should have autonomy over their own bodies." She then added, "If we do not have control over our own bodies, then this is not a free world." After the helpful gesture was posted on the social medium platform it received hundreds and thousands of shares and likes. While there were some trolls who tried to curb her efforts there were others who reached out to her appreciating her gesture. Despite gaining positive feedback no one has indeed taken her up on the offer.
Want to be supportive, but how? Give a woman a ride, walk her into the clinic. Open your spare room for a night. Or, dedicate space in your hotel like Shelley O'Brien at the Yale Hotel https://t.co/aLbnxI5ghx #ShoutYourAbortion— Bridget Hughes (@hughes_bridget) June 9, 2019
After the post got viral she updated and wrote: Since I posted this, I've received numbers of people willing to help drive you here... and I've learned of organizations like Yellowhammerfund.org that have a network in place already to help with the many barriers to receiving safe and legal reproductive services. If you need help, please message me. In order to support that effort, I will be donating 25% of my receipts that are a direct result of the new policy to a fund like this. Amount donated to date: $100 (5/22/19) :-) She ended this post by writing, We've got some amazing people in our village... we've got your backs.
@YaleHotel has free accommodation for #women traveling for an #abortion— Dr. Dhammika (@Dhammikax) June 9, 2019
Shelley O'Brien, the manager of hotel in Yale, Michigan, offers a free stay for any woman traveling out of their state for an #abortion.https://t.co/4JwhwHLG80
O'Brien also informed how she has indeed kept a room ready in case anyone needed it. Furthermore, she chose to name this particular hotel room, "Jane's Room" which is directed towards Jane Roe, a pseudonym that Norma McCorvey assumed during the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Although no one has reached out to her yet, reports say that prior to posting the message on Facebook O'Brien's business has boomed. Just the weekend after the post, she earned $400 more than the previous week.
Alabama is simply disgusting. It is one of two states with no statute terminating parental rights for a person found to have conceived the child by rape or incest, a fact that has gained fresh relevance since its lawmakers adopted the nation’s strictest abortion ban in May.— Frank Schaeffer (@Frank_Schaeffer) June 10, 2019
While Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortion, other states like Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio have passed a "heartbeat" bill which restricts anyone from getting an abortion if a fetal heartbeat was detected. Look's like the State of Alabama is not the only one trying to put a stop to this practice. Anti-abortion supporters have become all the more confident about the ban going country-wide after Brett Kavanaugh was appointed as the fifth conservative vote on the Supreme Court. But it is yet to be enforced because of the prevailing Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that deems it legal to abort a child across all 50 states.
Alabama just passed the most regressive abortion ban in the country that poses a threat to women's rights nation wide. As an organization that works intimately with the community, we must do everything we can to support women's rights, not attack them. #communitywellnessmatters pic.twitter.com/Y3xNRSLiOR— A Just Harvest (@AJustHarvest) May 16, 2019
However, the activists for the motion have been hoping that the legal challenges thrown at them will help the Supreme Court gradually reverse the Roe ruling. Just last week the Republicans in the Michigan state Senate brought about a bill which would be levying punishments on any doctor who was to perform an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. As per a report by Huffington Post, the Republican lawmakers along with the Senate voted to pass a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure which usually occurs after 13 weeks of gestation.
Michigan's ban on dilation and evacuation abortions adds to the growing list of anti-abortion bills circulating in GOP-controlled state legislatures. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said she will veto the ban. https://t.co/n3aVabof7r— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 15, 2019
As per this bill, any physician performing an abortion once the baby's heartbeat is detected, they will be prosecuted criminally thus making it a felony for them to perform this procedure unless it's required to save the mother's life. However, Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has promised to veto the legislation as soon as it reached her. "I think that these are decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor," she told news outlets. "I’ve always supported a woman’s autonomy and freedom to make her own choices, and that should be no surprise to anyone in this town." Expecting Whitmer's veto, a Michigan group called Right to Life is planning on launching a petition in the hopes of bypassing her veto.
Prayers that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have a change of heart and sign these #prolife bills that ban dismemberment abortion! These bills seek to not only ban the barbaric procedure but also stop fetal organ trafficking! @Right_to_Life https://t.co/DkLekZGUOa— Society of St. Sebastian (@socofstseb) May 15, 2019
While there are many who back the Alabama anti-abortion bill, O'Brien's kind gesture has been widely appreciated by netizens.