Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown (D) said she was “shocked” at the Republican effort to block her from speaking on the House floor after she used the word “vagina” in a speech this week.
“I look at it as a war on women when our voices aren’t being allowed to be heard,” Brown told TPM Friday. It started when the Michigan Democrat on Wednesday delivered an impassioned speech against a series of bills regulating abortions.
Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat who was first elected in 2008, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions should be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother, according to the Detroit News.
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said on Wednesday. On Thursday, the last day before a summer legislative recess, she wasn’t allowed to speak.
“We were in session for over eight hours on Thursday, and at no time did House Republican leadership come to me and say, ‘Lisa, you’ve been banned because blank, you’ve been banned for this length of time.’ Not once.”
House Republicans called her “vagina” remark over the line. But Brown said, “If we’re going to legislate vaginas, we have to be able to talk about vaginas. I don’t know what word they would like me to use otherwise.” The word “vagina” exists in Michigan statute in three different places, she added.
“It was frustrating not to be able to speak to anything,” Brown said. “It was a gag order on me and the people I represent.”
Here’s video of Brown’s Wednesday speech:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com