V-words freak out Michigan Republicans

by on June 17, 2012  •  In Reproductive rights, States

Hunter Of Justice

Speaking on the floor of the Michigan legislature against an anti-abortion “super bill,” Rep. Lisa Brown suggested that its sponsors were a wee bit too interested in her vagina. That’s the last we’ll hear from Rep. Brown for a while. She was later barred from debate over an unrelated bill as punishment. The same thing happened to Rep. Barb Byrum, who proposed a ban on vasectomies. From the Detroit News:

Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat and mother of three, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions be be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother.

“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said Wednesday. Brown’s comment prompted a rebuke Thursday by House Republicans, who wouldn’t allow her to voice her opinion on a school employee retirement bill.

“What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.” Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments violated the decorum of the House, said Ari Adler, spokesman for the Republican majority.

“If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?” Brown asked Thursday at a hastily called Capitol press conference. “What language should I use?”

House Republicans also wouldn’t let state Rep. Barb Byrum speak on the House floor today. Byrum, D-Onondaga, caused a disturbance on the House floor Wednesday when she wasn’t allowed to introduce an amendment to the abortion regulations bill banning men from getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life.



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