Thousands of women protested when Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) was banned from speaking on the House Floor for a day after she used the word "vagina" during a debate over anti-abortion bill.
But her colleague, State Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), said Republican leadership's decision to silence Brown was no different than putting a child in timeout.
"It's like giving a kid a timeout for a day," he told Lansing radio host Patrick Shiels. "You know, hey, timeout, you wanna comment too far, you spoke your piece. We're gonna let these other people have their dissenting comments, and then we'll get back to business."
(Video above via Wonkette.)
Brown and another female lawmaker, Rep. Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga), were told they wouldn't be recognized on the House floor as a result of their comments during House debates the night before. Ari Adler, a spokesperson for House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall), said Byrum was gaveled down for throwing "a temper tantrum" over the abortion bill.
Brown assumed she was banned for using the word "vagina" in reference to a bill that would require doctors to screen women for coercion before agreeing to perform an abortion. She had told her colleagues, "I'm flattered you're all so concerned about my vagina, but no means no."
Schmidt said "vagina" wasn't the problem.
"It wasn't about body parts, it wasn't about dissent, it wasn't about anyone's religious beliefs," he said. "It was that last comment that took a step too far-- the 'no means no' comment."
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