Two women serving in the state House have been barred from participating in floor debates for one day. The sanction is a punishment for things they said during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
State Representatives Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum are both Democrats. Brown made a reference to her vagina in a floor statement.
“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina,” she said, “but ‘no’ means ‘no.’”
Byrum shouted at the presiding officer after she was not recognized to speak.
Ari Adler is the spokesman for the House Republican leadership.
“It is the responsibility of every member who serves in the House of Representatives to maintain decorum on the House floor and when they do not do that, there can be actions because of that. And the action today is to not recognize either representative to speak on the House floor,” he said.
Brown was speaking during a debate on anti-abortion bills, and has no apologies for what she said.
“I used an anatomically correct word. I said ‘vagina,’” she said. “Can I not say ‘elbow?’ I don’t see what the difference is.”
This is the first time in memory that lawmakers have been formally barred from participating in floor debates.
Two Democratic lawmakers say they have been barred from speaking during House debates.
The House Republican leadership confirms that state Representative Lisa Brown will not be recognized during debates as a sanction for mentioning her vagina during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
State Representative Barb Byrum also says she has been barred from speaking in the future because of an outburst after she was not called on during the abortion debate.
It is so unbelievable!
Is it America? Or is it Saudi Arabia? It is a nasty war on women’s health. It is a war on women by nasty men.
Be brave. Fight it out.
Sometimes I feel that men who are against abortion, against choice, against women’s reproductive health, are exactly like those men who used to beat women up on the streets because they demanded voting rights for women.
‘Several times constables and plain-clothes men who were in the crowds passed their arms round me from the back and clutched hold of my breasts in as public a manner as possible, and men in the crowd followed their example. I was also pummeled in the chest […] my skirt was lifted up as high as possible and the constable attempted to lift me off the ground by raising his knee. This he could not do, so he threw me into the crowd and incited the men to treat me as they wished. 18 NOVEMBER 1910.’
Time has passed So much has changed. But the hatred against women has remained the same.