Media outlets, from CNN to HuffPost, recently latched on to a Michigan hotel after its manager offered to house women seeking abortions.
But writers and journalists routinely overlook free resources for other pregnant women – mothers who want to keep their babies.
On May 16, a hotel manager in Yale, Michigan, promised free lodging to pregnant women traveling out of state for an abortion. Shelley O’Brien runs The Yale Hotel, located in a small town an hour or so north of Detroit. To publicize her offer, she turned to Facebook.
“Dear sisters that live in Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, or any of the other states that follow with similar laws restricting [abortion]access,” she wrote, “if you can make it to Michigan, we will support you with several nights lodging, and transportation to and from your appointment.”
A few days later, she added that she had “received numbers of people willing to help drive” women to Michigan for abortions.
“If you need help, please message me,” she wrote. “We’ve got some amazing people in our village… we’ve got your backs.”
The Facebook post now boasts more than 3,000 shares – and the media have pushed its message even further.
On June 8, CNN producer Harmeet Kaur recognized O’Brien’s “bold stance.” A day later, HuffPost reporter Dominique Mosbergen decribed the manager as a grandmother “Incensed by the spate of legislation severely limiting abortion rights.”
For International Business Times, Kenneth Roth wrote that same day about the “free accommodations to women needing to leave their home state to receive the procedure.”
“Hatred in one phone call, a $100 donation in the next,” Time magazine reporter Alejandro de la Garza wrote of responses to O’Brien’s housing offer on June 9. “That was Sunday morning for the Yale Hotel’s general manager after she posted on Facebook.”
For ABC, multimedia reporter Morgan Winsor covered the hotel “offering free accommodation to any woman traveling to the state to have an abortion” on June 10. Multiple other outlets, including the New York Daily News and the Washington Post, also covered O’Brien’s offer.
What they didn’t cover – and generally don’t cover – is the free help available to pregnant women nationwide provided by pregnancy centers and the larger pro-life movement.
Just in Michigan, there are “more than 150 locations” that “offer pregnancy and adoption help services,” according to the Right to Life of Michigan. The pro-life organization lists those locations on a map in the hopes of connecting pregnant women to housing, parenting assistance, healthcare, and material aid.
Although they are routinely vilified by abortion supporters, pregnancy centers nationwide offer pregnant women and new moms free clothing, housing, medical supplies, educational classes, and other assistance.
And, if those fall short, regular pro-life citizens also do their part to help. In one of the responses to O’Brien’s Facebook post, a woman named Dorothy commented that she was “sad people are celebrating Abortion.”
“[F]or the record 2 of my children are adopted,” she revealed, before countering O’Brien by telling women that “if you are pregnant and need help come stay with me during your short 9 months and I will adopt your child.”
If the media want women to be aware of their options, they should cover all of those options. Especially when the difference could determine the course of a human person’s life.