Lawmakers silenced after abortion debate brings ‘Vagina Monologues’ to Michigan capitol steps


A Michigan lawmaker, barred from speaking in the state House after she used the word “vagina” during a debate on an anti-abortion bill, plans to participate in a performance tonight of the Tony Award-winning play The Vagina Monologues.

Tonight’s performance will take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the state Capitol steps in Lansing (The Ed Show will have extended coverage at 8pET on msnbc!).

House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown (D-MI) from speaking on the floor because of the way she ended an impassioned speech on Wednesday against House Bill 5711, which would regulate abortion and provider clinics so stringently that Brown says many will simply close.

“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’ ” said Brown, a Democrat from West Bloomfield.

Brown thought using the word “vagina” was what got her into trouble.  

“What Brown said was offensive,” Rep. Mike Callton told reporters. “ It was so offensive, i don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

He meant “vagina,” right?

“It has nothing to do with her using the word ‘vagina,’” said Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger.  ”It was judgement at the time that when she finished her statement by referencing her vagina, and then saying ‘no means no,’ that was drawing a rape reference and he felt that crossed the line.”

Then, Adler said Brown was punished because she “threw a temper tantrum on the House floor.” 

Brown told The Ed Show on Friday (with guest host Michael Eric Dyson) that the Republican leadership did not tell her why she was banned.

House Republicans also barred state Rep. Barb Byrum from speaking after the Democrat from Onondaga proposed a ban on men getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life.

Byrum will be our guest tonight on The Ed Show at 8pET on msnbc!  

War onWomen

Lawmakers silenced after abortion debate brings 'Vagina Monologues' to Michigan capitol steps