Michigan lawmaker banned from speaking after saying ‘vagina’ during an abortion debate

Updated
By Aliyah Shahid

A Michigan lawmaker has been banned from speaking on the House floor after referencing her private parts while debating a bill that would restrict abortion rights in the state. “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested my vagina,” Rep. Lisa Brown said, addressing the Speaker of the House, “but ‘no’ means ‘no.’”

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of The Rachel Maddow Show, Brown argued that she did nothing wrong.

“I think the government has no business being in my private business,” she said.

Brown created a firestorm Wednesday while railing against legislation that would place new regulations on abortion providers in addition to prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.

The Jewish politician argued people of her faith are permitted to have an abortion if the mother’s life is in danger. 

“I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said.

Brown was gaveled by the House Speaker for violating the decorum of the House. The Detroit News reported Brown was barred from speaking Thursday during the debate about a school employee retirement bill.

“Frankly, using the word vagina—that is what this legislation is regulating,” Brown told guest host Ezra Klein, adding she was not told why or how long she was barred from speaking.

A spokesman for the House Speaker James Bolger told msnbc that Brown was not censored for her comments, but for the “context” in which she used them. 

“It’s the medically, anatomically correct word to use,” declared Brown. “In fact, it’s in our Michigan statute on three different occasions.”

The anti-abortion law passed in the House 70-39, with all Republicans voting in favor of it. The legislation now goes to the Senate. “There’s still time to fight this bill and request the bill go away and never show its ugly head again,” said Brown. “The fight is not over.”

 

Ezra Klein and Reproductive Rights

Michigan lawmaker banned from speaking after saying 'vagina' during an abortion debate

Updated