One of them, Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, actually used the word "vagina" in a sentence on the House floor. She spoke for a few minutes about her own Jewish faith and how it understands the legitimacy of medically necessary abortions. She ended by saying, "Finally, Mr. Speaker,
I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"
Oh. My. God. That word. That nasty, wasty word:
Yesterday's Detroit News reported (with a straight face--at least in public):noun, plural va·gi·nas, va·gi·nae [-nee] . 1. Anatomy, Zoology .
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."Lisa Brown responded: “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?”
On that same day, Wednesday, Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, wickedly suggested that if the gentlemen of the Republican persuasion want to dictate how a woman uses her body by putting up a draconian bill limiting existing abortion laws, she would introduce an amendment to the bill requiring that all men seeking vasectomies in Michigan provide proof that the procedure was necessary due to a medical emergency or that the man's life was in danger.
"If we truly want to make sure children are born, we would regulate vasectomies," Byrum told reporters Thursday.
(The law passed, anyway, 70-39 with a Republican majority--minus the proposed 20-week abortion ban, which will be taken up at a later date. It passed in spite of over 10,000 protest signatures, which were apparently invisible to the Republicans and thus weren't recognized. It goes to the Republican majority senate in September. Some are calling this anti-abortion bill "the nation's worst." The specifics are here. You be the judge.)
Yesterday was the last day the legislature was in session before summer recess. Numerous bills were discussed before voting, it being the last day and all, but neither Brown nor Byrum were allowed to speak on the floor. These two elected representatives of the people (I repeat) were not allowed to voice their opinions on the House floor because of a few legitimate words spoken in legitimate discussion the day before:
Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger (R), said the women “will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.”