#VaginaMovieLines: Using the v word to tackle anti-abortion laws
Rep 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.Tagged in: #keepyourrosarysoffmyovaries, #stopsilencingwomen, #VaginaMovieLines, abortion, Ari Adler, Barb Byrum, Contraception, House Jase Bolger, planned parenting, Rep Lisa Brown, vagina
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