Michigan Lawmaker Silenced for Saying 'Vagina'

'What language should I use?' wonders Rep. Lisa Brown
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Suggested by fancygapva
Posted Jun 15, 2012 2:20 AM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2012 4:29 AM CDT
Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown.   (housedems.com)

(Newser) – You can say it on television, but not in Michigan's Republican-majority House of Representatives. Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown was barred from speaking on the House floor as punishment for saying "vagina" during a debate on abortion rights, the Detroit News reports. "Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no,'" she said. She was accused of failing to "maintain the decorum of the House," as was another Democrat who proposed an amendment to the abortion bill requiring men to prove their lives were in danger before getting vasectomies.

What Brown said "was offensive," one Republican lawmaker said. "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 accused the opposition lawmakers of violating her First Amendment rights, reports the Detroit Free Press. "If I can't say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas?" she asked. "What language should I use?" Vagina, she noted, is the "medically correct" term. "We're all adults here, she said.

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