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Hotel Makes Offer to Abortion Seekers

Owner of The Yale Hotel is getting involved
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2019 12:34 PM CDT
The Yale Hotel in Yale, Michigan.   (The Yale Hotel)

(Newser) – Seeking a safe abortion in Michigan? You've got a place to stay. Shelley O'Brien, owner of a hotel in the town of Yale, says she'll help out women who come from staunchly anti-abortion states like Alabama, Ohio, or Georgia, CNN reports. "We cannot do anything about the way you are being treated in your home-state," the owner of The Yale Hotel writes on Facebook. "But, if you can make it to Michigan, we will support you with several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment." O'Brien lives in a mostly conservative town with fewer that 2,000 residents, but says she wanted to take a stand: "Women should have autonomy over their own bodies," explains the 55-year-old. "If we do not have control over our own bodies, then this is not a free world."

She even compared her work to the Underground Railroad—a network of secret routes that helped slaves flee the Old South—and referred abortion-seekers to Yellowhammerfund.org, a modern-day network that helps women receive safe services. Her Facebook post has over 3,000 shares and generated about 1,300 comments, most of which are positive, but not all. "I'm sad to hear that you and your business wants to support murdering children," reads one. But O'Brien holds her ground, telling the Detroit Free Press that "the only way this is going to change is if people are willing to risk something." It's doesn't hurt business, either: O'Brien saw a $400 spike at the hotel on the weekend after posting her message. (Read more abortion stories.)

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