'V' word draws sanction in Michigan House

June 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM
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LANSING, Mich., June 14 (UPI) -- Two Democratic lawmakers were banned from speaking during Thursday's session of the Michigan House, a day after one used the word "vagina" during floor debate.

State Rep. Lisa Brown was sanctioned for using the term Wednesday during debate on abortion legislation.

Rep. Barb Byrum was banned from speaking Thursday following a disturbance in the House Wednesday, when she was not permitted to introduce an amendment to abortion legislation that would outlaw vasectomies except when necessary to save a man's life, the Detroit Free Press reported.

House Republicans banned Brown from speaking on the House floor Thursday after GOP leaders determined she had violated the decorum of the body when she ended a speech by saying, "Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"

Republican Rep. Mike Callton said Brown's choice of words was "so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company."

At a news conference at the Capitol Thursday, Brown said, "We're all adults here," and noted "vagina" is the medically correct term.

"If I can't say the word 'vagina,' why are we legislating vaginas?" she asked.

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