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Abortion Bill Debate Leads Politicians to Present 'Vagina Monologues' on Steps of Mich. Capitol

When Michigan state Representative Lisa Brown was elected to the state Legislature, she surely never imagined that her service might ultimately lead to her participation in a performance of the play The Vagina Monologues, on the steps of the state Capitol. But just such a performance is planned for this evening

Last week, Brown spoke out against a bill that imposes what she considers to be "coercive abortion screening," as it requires doctors to affirmatively determine if a woman is being coerced into having an abortion. NPR reports that while denouncing the bill on the floor of the Michigan House, Brown stated, "[a]nd finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"

The next day, the House Republican leadership refused to permit Brown to speak on an unrelated bill concerning the retirement of school employees, stating that her "vagina" remark violated decorum and was "so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company." Brown responded on her website that "the word 'vagina' [ ] is an anatomically, medically correct term. If they are going to legislate my anatomy, I see no reason why I cannot mention it.”

The Detroit Free Press reports that another female Michigan legislator, Representative Barb Byrum, was also prohibited from speaking on the floor after she created a disturbance last week when she "wasn't allowed to introduce an amendment to the abortion regulations bill banning men from getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man's life."

And so tonight, get ready for a very special presentation of The Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan Capitol building. According to this Facebook page about the event, Brown, Bynum and at least nine other Democratic female members of the Michigan legislature will join Vagina Monologues creator and playwright, Eve Ensler, to perform the play.

Posted by Bruce Carton on June 18, 2012 at 04:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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