#VaginaMovieLines: Using the v word to tackle anti-abortion laws

Nicky Clark

141713447 225x300 #VaginaMovieLines: Using the v word to tackle anti abortion lawsRep Lisa Brown caused outrage and the creation of two trending topics on Twitter today after indulging in behaviour deemed so “shocking” that the speaker had no option but to silence her from any further participation in debate on the House floor in the Michigan State House chamber.

The Michigan Rep gave a passionate speech regarding a proposed abortion ban on Wednesday.

“I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said. In her final statement, she commented: “And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’”

Barb Byrum, another member, was ruled out of order after she protested at being silenced in proposing an amendment, which would have required proof of a medical emergency or that a man’s life was in danger before a doctor could perform a vasectomy.

Ari Adler, spokesman for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger said both women “will not be recognised to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives.”

“House Republicans often go beyond simply allowing debate by welcoming open and passionate discussion,” he added. “The only way we can continue doing so, however, is to ensure that the proper level of maturity and civility are maintained on the House floor.”

In the debate about the further regulating of abortion laws which many already find worrying, there were many representatives apparently so horrified that the speaker Jase Bolger, clearly in an effort to prevent her talking about her vagina again, silenced her from further participation.

The fact that Rep Lisa Brown used the word in an effort to highlight the further legislative moves to prevent women gaining access to safe abortion, meant that she referenced correctly, but inconveniently personalised an issue which many would prefer remained as abstract as the religious beliefs underpinning much of the opposition to a woman choosing whether she wants to become a mother.

Hashtags on Twitter are great when it comes to women making their point about oppressive practices, and nothing really demonstrates oppression more than forcing any woman to become a mother against her will.

It speaks of course to the religious right and the sanctity of life demonstrated by the #keepyourrosarysoffmyovaries hashtag developed as moves in the UK to narrow access to safe legal abortion were attempted recently. As we saw from the dismal spectacle of 40 days for life waving their hysterical placards outside abortion clinics and videoing women in an effort to shame them into rethinking their right to choose, the methods chosen by some Christian groups are far more offensive than any contraception or planned parenting.

Brown commented “There have been many occasions of inappropriate behavior by men on the floor, and they haven’t lost their voice…I was speaking to the bill at hand, I didn’t use any curse words and I was using anatomically correct language.”

So the overreaction to Rep Lisa Brown and member Barb Byrum’s intelligent and articulate attempts to offer amendments and voice freely their objections to the state interference in women’s rights, drew a disappointing yet predictable response. The were silenced.

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  • Andy Mills

    Is this observation based on a large sample or is this just more wild speculation on your part?

  • Andy Mills

    Repressed as well, keep there legs together indeed? You really do have a limited imagination when it comes to sex, i guess the missionary position is the only god sanctioned way to have sex for people like you.

  • Guest

    I prefer it to the coarser version which describes smarty-pants of your kind.

  • ErnstBlofeld

    DaiWales: If you want to argue that unborn children aren’t people, then explain to me where you draw the line. At birth? Your words about rape are irrelevant since the issue here is who should be counted as a person. If (hypothetically) you were to learn that you yourself has been conceived through rape, I don’t believe you would start to see yourself as a non-person.

  • DaiWales

    Oh , and where did I “rage against sexism” ? I clearly said “there are some nutters (men) who believe….” SOME …… men , – particularly in the US – have stated clearly that women should continue to carry the product of rape.

    that does not mean ALL men by any means .
    Do ME a favour and don’t attack me for what I haven’t said

  • DaiWales

    The British Parliament has defined the “line” at around 24 weeks, that’ll do for me.
    My words about “rape” are totally relevant because they underline the attitude of some anti-abortionists who are so extreme as to insist that a woman continue to carry the product of rape against her own wishes.

    Anti-abortionist continue to avoid talking about the rights and feelings of the woman and her body; hence the mealy-mouthed reaction to the word vagina, through which passes the sperm, and eventually the baby – or foetus.

  • ErnstBlofeld

    DaiWales: Since the British Parliament drew the line at 24 weeks, the Parliament obviously didn’t distinguish between the offspring of rapists and the offspring of others. Whether someone is a person or not doesn’t depend on whether he or she has been sired by a rapist. Thats why rape has nothing do do with it. Concerning the british 24-week limit, it’s very arbitrary. Already in the 7th week, the brain cells of the child have started to form connections. At 11 weeks, the head, legs, arms and fingers are visible. We’re not talking about the removal of a wart.

  • DaiWales

    Please don’t continue to confuse two different things. The British Parliament has decided, (like many other Western European countries) that ABORTION is legal under certain circumstances. If you and other anti-abortionists don’t like that and call it murder, that’s your problem. No one LIKES abortion, least of all the women who undergo it, but life has a habit of bringing unforseen consequences of actions.

    The separate issue is of RAPE, and the only reason that I raised this is because it shows to me that the thinking of SOME anti-abortionists is so extreme that they would force an unwilling woman to carry the baby of a rapist, within her own body, for 9 months.
    As far as I , and most Brits are concerned, anyone who thinks like that deserves the term “nutter”.
    As do those who have attacked and destroyed abortion clinics in the US , and physically attacked the medical staff concerned.

  • ErnstBlofeld

    DaiWales: Actually, it was you who brought rape into the discussion so it was your decision to confuse two separate issues. And yes, the British Parliament (and many other parliaments) has decided that abortion is legal. So what? In some places, democratically elected parliaments have decided that capital punishment can be used but that doesn’t make it right (not to me). What a parliament has decided can always be questioned and debated – it is never a final truth carved in stone.

  • GwendolenMeiMeiWilliams

    As soon as it becomes possible for a man to carry a child, the abortion arguments will disappear like puff of smoke. The first headline “teenage mother gets fetus implanted into pro-life boyfriend, boyfriend forced to quit football team”, and suddenly no-one will be trying to tell me a tiny bunch of cells is a person. Until some knucklehead decides the Bible tells us that this is wrong too and God is quite clear that this is all a womans responsibility.

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