Michigan lawmaker banned from speaking: ‘If you can’t say ‘vagina,’ we shouldn’t be legislating vaginas’


Michigan Democratic state representative Lisa Brown “only had to say the word ‘vagina’ once to be banned from speaking on the House floor last week,” The Last Word’s Lawrence O’Donnell explained.

On Monday, Brown performed the play The Vagina Monologues as a protest—on the steps of the Michigan capitol, then later appeared on The Last Word  joined by Monologues playwright Eve Ensler.

“It was one of the most amazing performances that I’ve seen,” said Ensler of the performance, for which  an estimated 5,000 people turned out. “I think we took free speech back today.” 

“I didn’t say anything wrong… I don’t know what terminology somebody would prefer, but I think vagina is the right word to use,” said Brown of her ban, which came after she took to the floor to speak out against state Republicans’ efforts to limit abortion rights.

“If you can’t say ‘vagina,’ we shouldn’t be legislating vaginas,” Brown added.

Ensler said she was pushing for Brown to have her speaking rights reinstated, with an apology. After all, Ensler continued, there’s no going back to the days when ‘vagina’ was considered a dirty word. 

“Vaginas are here to stay.”

Reproductive Rights

Michigan lawmaker banned from speaking: 'If you can't say 'vagina,' we shouldn't be legislating vaginas'