A lawmaker was barred from speaking on the floor of the Michigan state legislature for saying “vagina” during a heated debate over abortions.
House Republicans blocked Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown for her remark during a speech blasting the controversial bill that would restrict abortions after 20 weeks, according to The Detroit News.
"Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no,'" Brown said at the end of her speech Wednesday.
A spokesman for Michigan Speaker James Bolger said in a statement that Brown would not be allowed to give her opinion on a school employee retirement bill Thursday because she had "failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives."
Republican Rep. Mike Callton added that Brown’s remark went over the line. "What she said was offensive," Callton told The Detroit News. "It was so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."
Brown defended her right to say "vagina" at a press conference Thursday, arguing that it's the "anatomically, medically correct term. "If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?" Brown asked. "What language should I use?"
In her remarks Wednesday, Brown argued that the abortion regulation bill would violate her Jewish faith, which permits therapeutic abortions when the mother’s life is at risk. "I have not asked you to adopt and to adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?" Brown asked.
The anti-abortion law passed on a 70-39 vote.
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