Two legislators were banned from speaking in the Michigan House of Representatives following their comments on a bill regarding added restrictions to abortion providers.
The bill was passed in the House by a 70-39 vote. It is now the most-restrictive anti-abortion bill in the U.S.
Democratic State Representative Lisa Brown, of West Bloomfield was banned by Republican Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas of Midland from speaking for an indefinite period. She told the bill’s supporters, “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
Brown said in a press conference, according to MLive.com, “I was either banned for being Jewish or because I used the word ‘vagina,’ which is an anatomically, medically correct term.”
She said according to her faith, a woman’s life is foremost when a pregnant woman’s health and life are at stake. “As a Jew, I understand that many people hold different opinions and I respect that. All I did was urge my fellow lawmakers to extend to me that same consideration,” she said.
Also, Democrat Barb Byrum of Onondaga was silenced after proposing a ban on men getting a vasectomy unless it was necessary to save the man's life.
Stamas said to the Detroit News, "My concern was the decorum of the House, not of anything she said. I felt it went too far yesterday."
Some male Republican representatives called Brown's comments vulgar, "inappropriate" and "offensive." Republican Representative Mike Callton of Nashville said, "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women.”
According to The New Civil Rights Movement, Byrum may have been silenced because she spoke out of turn, which is a violation of House rules, but the site says they speak out of turn fairly often.