Republicans in Michigan want women to understand one thing, when it comes to their reproductive health, they can neither control it nor even talk about it.
On Thursday state Rep. Lisa Brown tried to speak out in opposition to the massive anti-abortion omnibus bill being jammed through the legislature, saying the measures violated her Jewish religious beliefs that a pregnancy be aborted to save the life of the mother. Brown closed her comments by stating “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.”
The comment prompted a rebuke and one of the creepiest responses to a legislative dispute yet. “What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
If a lawmaker cannot say the word “vagina” in front of a woman, even if that is a woman in the company of men (a concept so archaic that it should really end all serious debate) then he relinquishes any conceivable right to propose, debate, or vote on bills that involve vaginas.
Maybe we should take it one step further. Maybe it’s time to take a page out of the anti-choice playbook and start adding “pro-vagina rider” amendments to all legislation. Transportation bill up for review? Add some vagina language. If Republicans are going to attack women’s reproductive health at every legislative turn and then try to both cut off debate and assign shame to the medical terminology associated with it, then let’s make them say so. Again and again and again.
Photo from carolyntiry via flickr.