I wasn’t going to write about this. Really. Not because this story is not important or newsworthy — it is — but because I cannot stop laughing. I am truly sorry: I expect better of myself. But you know what? I do not always live up to my expectations. (Does anyone?) And frankly, the alternative is rage-crying, and, well, it’s a really beautiful Friday afternoon in New York.
So, a bunch of Republicans @$$holes in the Michigan legislature were trying to pass three bug@$$ nutz abortion bills. Here’s a brief summary (via PZ at Pharyngula):
HB 5711-5713, which include an absolute prohibition on abortion after 20 weeks (with no health exemption for the mother), and some bizarrely morbid provisions that require that doctors issue “fetal death certificates” and arrange for a funeral for the fetus. It’s dumb, it’s wicked, it’s demeaning.
So a few Democratic women spoke out. Rashida Tlaib went all Lysistrata on them, suggesting that women refuse to have sex with Republicans for as long as they push these women-hating bills through congress. Lisa Brown called them on what this is: Christian bias and religiously motivated oppression, explaining that there is no objection to these abortions in her Jewish religious traditions, and saying, “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” Barb Byrum proposed amendments to the bill that required proof of a medical emergency before a doctor would be allowed to perform a vasectomy. [Bwahahaha! -Ed.]
They fought the good fight. Their reward? The Republican majority has made a decision that Brown and Byrum will not be allowed to speak. The claim was that they deserved it because they’d been gaveled during the previous day’s session: Brown had the hammer brought down on her when she dared to mention her vagina, and Byrum was gaveled when she tried to speak as the legislature proposed shutting down all discussion on the bill.
The bills passed, of course. And now, all I have to say is… VAGINA! VAGINA! VAGINA!
Here’s what State Rep. Lisa Brown (D) said:
”I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours? And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”
According to a report from Michigan Public Radio:
Ari Adler is the spokesman for the House Republican leadership.
“It is the responsibility of every member who serves in the House of Representatives to maintain decorum on the House floor and when they do not do that, there can be actions because of that. And the action today is to not recognize either representative to speak on the House floor,” he said.
The House Republican leadership confirms that state Representative Lisa Brown will not be recognized during debates as a sanction for mentioning her vagina during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
The Detroit News further reported that it was Rep, Mike Callton (Republican), who rebuked her and prevented her from voicing her opinion about a school employee retirement bill. Callton said,
“What she said was offensive. It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
The consensus was apparent. According to Ari Adler, the spokesperson for the GOP majority, Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, determined Brown’s comments ”violated the decorum of the House.”
Brown, however, pointed out that “vagina” is the medically correct term, and asked if there was another word she should be using. She stated, “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?”
Why indeed, congressperson Brown. Why indeed.
Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, made the decision to prevent Brown and Byrum from speaking on any of the slew of bills the House was racing to pass before adjourning for the summer.
“My concern was the decorum of the House, not of anything she said,” Stamas told The Detroit News.
“I ask all members to maintain a decorum of the House, and I felt it went too far yesterday,” he said.
Speaker Pro Tem John Walsh, R-Livonia, gaveled Brown out of order for saying “no means no” — because it suggested Brown was comparing the abortion legislation to rape, House GOP spokesman Ari Adler said.
“It has nothing to do with the word vagina,” Adler said.
To which I can only add:
Please, loyal readers, do not mistake my nearly-uncontrollable giggling for a lack of outrage. I AM OUTRAGED. But as I mentioned above, the alternative is rage-crying, and, well, it is a really beautiful afternoon in New York…
And in case you may have forgotten, cynical sniggering is hardly the only response I have to Michigan Republicans (and to a few Michigan Democrats as well—you know who you are.). I offer, by way of rebuttal:
As loyal readers may recall, I had been quite understandably alarmed about having so many Republicans all up in my vagina, so of course I promptly scheduled an exam and had my gynecologist take this picture with my trusty iphone. As I said at the time:
Unfortunately, the picture turned out a little blurry. Next year I’ll definitely bring a better camera, at least a ten megapixel with a flash, because I really need to have the highest possible resolution picture of the inside of my vagina to show to concerned conservatives…I think maybe if you squint just right, you can just make out my gynecologist’s laughing face reflected on my shiny, perfectly healthy cervix.
Oh, and one last thing, before I forget:
HEY CONSERVATIVES! VAGINA!