Lawmaker Formally Requests Apology for 'Vagina' Backlash
Onondaga Rep. Barb Byrum, along with two advocate groups, asks Michigan House Republicans to apologize for banning Byrum and West Bloomfield Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on bill last month. Take our poll to tell us what you think!
A state representative who claimed that she and colleague Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) were banned from speaking on the House floor after a disagreement about decorum delivered a box of petition signatures to the House SpeakerWednesday morning demanding an apology.
Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, joined by representatives from the liberal groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America, claimed that more than 115,000 people from around the nation signed the petition, aimed at House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall).
Brown, a Jewish mother of three, claimed she was barred from speaking after referencing her own vagina at the end of a speech on House Bill 5711. She said that the abortion legislation forces contradictory religious beliefs upon her and others.
The remark went viral amid concerns that the House GOP majority went too far in banning Brown for using what she referred to as the "medically correct term."
Feminist activists including Eve Ensler, writer and original star of The Vagina Monologues, descended upon Lansing to protest on June 15. Thousands turned out for a special performance of the 1996 solo show-turned-international hit.
Bolger's spokesman, Ari Adler, claimed that House Democrats are using the issue as a "distraction," according to reports.
"We’re focused on moving Michigan forward, and the House Democrats are welcome to join us whenever they are ready," Adler said.