Verboten: Vagina and Vasectomy

In spite of the fact that MI’s economy–which had been turning around–is now turning back down again, the Republicans who run Lansing are busy enacting new restrictions on abortion and contraception. Busy with that, and busy silencing two state Reps who had the audacity to say “vagina” and “vasectomy” on the House floor.

Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum, both Democrats, were barred from participating in debates Thursday because they were “disrupting decorum” during debate on Wednesday over three bills that would put restrictions on abortions, said Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger.

The cause of Brown’s gag order was this statement, which she made during a floor speech opposing a bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks: “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”

Byrum’s speaking privileges were revoked after the state congresswoman shouted multiple times at the legislature’s chairman that she should be given a chance to speak on her amendment, a chance she was not given during debate Wednesday.

Byrum’s amendment, which ABC apparently doesn’t want to talk about either, was to require men to show medical necessity before getting a vasectomy.

Byrum caused a stir when she marched through the House gallery Wednesday protesting that she hadn’t been allowed to speak on her amendment to the anti-abortion bill that would have required a man to have proof of a medical emergency before he could have a vasectomy.

“It’s my impression that I’m being banned from speaking as a result of my use of the term vasectomy — a medical procedure,” Byrum told The Huffington Post.

Now that the national press has wondered what kind of neanderthals ban the use of vagina (they’re afraid to talk about that other V-word), Republicans have responded by making their “issues” clear.

“They behaved in a way that disrupted the decorum of the House,” [House Majority Leader's spokesperson Ari] Adler said. “For Brown, it was not the words she used, but the way she used them that resulted in her being gaveled down.” In Byrum’s case, Adler said, “I hate to put it this way, but she essentially had a temper tantrum on the House floor.”

When women try to ask men to be held to the same terms as women, you see, it amounts to a temper tantrum.

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