Well, Michigan appears to be fully committed to its current downward spiral. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed part one of its atrocious anti-abortion legislation, imposing ridiculous and unnecessary new regulations on abortion clinics. The vote was 70-39 and consisted of six Democrats and every single Republican.
Today, two of the State Representatives who attempted to speak out against the bill were informed that they have been banned indefinitely from speaking on the House floor. Neither Lisa Brown or Barb Byrum have received any explanation as to why they were banned, but it’s not difficult to come up with some theories.
In the beginning of the video above, you can see Rep. Barb Byrum attempting to speak out of turn and getting drowned out by the Speaker. Apparently speaking out of turn is technically a punishable offense, but not one that is enforced with any regularity.
Starting at around :25, Rep. Lisa Brown is seen describing how her Jewish faith allows for abortions, even late-term, if the health of the mother is at risk:
“Wherever there is a question of the life of the mother or that of the unborn child, Jewish law rules in favor of preserving the life of the mother. The status of the fetus as human life does not equal that of the mother. I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?”
And then the kicker: “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.”
After that statement you can briefly hear the Speaker saying something about members “respecting the forum of the House.”
(Reps. Dian Slavens and Stacy Erwin Oakes speak after, and they are worth a watch as well).
I’m by no means familiar with the processes of the House, but I have a hard time understanding what exactly those two women did to deserve not only an indefinite ban from speaking, but also a complete lack of explanation from the Speaker who made the decision.
Was it because Rep. Byrum spoke out of term? I hardly think that deserves an indefinite ban. Was it because Rep. Brown dared to say the word vagina? A woman, using the medically-correct term for a body part that is directly affected by these proposed laws? Excuse me while I clutch my pearls.
It’s incredibly disheartening that these two women are now being prevented from representing their constituents because a bunch of old men got their tighty-whities in a twist over the concept of vaginas; however, after the Capitol Hill all-male panel debacle, it’s unfortunately not hard to believe.
These politicians seem hell-bent on legislating what goes in in a woman’s body without paying an ounce of attention to anyone who actually knows what goes on in a woman’s body – doctors, nurses, and oh, that’s right, WOMEN. Have we really come to the point where these men are just going to forbid us from speaking out against these violations? Is that the world we live in now?