The predictions about emboldened right-wing state legislatures after Wisconsin are coming true, with Michigan's legislature as one of the first testing grounds. Michigan, home to the auto industry and the likes of Betsy DeVos, has a legislature full of wingnuts.
The 60-page bill was introduced just last week by Republican Representative Bruce Rendon and contains all matter of horrors. For starters, all abortions after 20 weeks would be criminalized—no exceptions for victims of rape or if the fetus has a severe anomaly, like it is missing a brain or a spine. Wait? Oh, nevermind it's pointless to even try to understand how that is a good idea because it's not. There is a very narrow exception made if the mother's life is at risk, but simply her health and/or future fertility is not reason enough to allow an abortion. Well, how very pro-life indeed. Oh, it'd also make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion. Geeze, make that definition vague enough and you might be able to start prosecuting doctors for being overly enthusiastic in telling patients that it's totally safe to get an abortion…
This lovely bill would also require that health centers that perform more than six abortions in a month be equipped with surgery rooms, even if they don't do surgical abortions. Just in case someone needs an emergency appendectomy while they're waiting, I guess? Makes TOTAL sense to spend a sh*t-ton of money you don't have to create a room filled with expensive equipment that you'll never use and have to jump through a bunch of hoops and pay to have the facility licensed.
There are also a number of provisions that can sadly now be described as typical: Women need to be screened to be sure there's no "coercion" going on. A doctor needs to be present for medication abortions, and no telemedicine is allowed, so doctors won't be able to use technology to prescribe medication abortions from afar or even prescribe the morning-after pill. And, just for good measure, the bill also puts in place elaborate new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains.
During the very heated debate on the bill, female representatives tried to introduce an amendment that would have the same rules apply to vasectomies, and Rep. Lisa Brown had this to say: "I'm flattered that you're all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no."
OH NOES!!!! Michigan men are just horrified that a woman said the word "vagina"!!!!! And "vasectomy"? Perish the thought. No, we don't say "vasectomy" in the hallowed halls of the Michigan house. Nay, nay, such heresies may not be uttered in the presence of delicate men.
And so, both representatives were banned from speaking the following day. Banned. As in, you may not speak at all. Period.
Ari Adler, spokesman for Bolger, said the women "will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives."
Adler said the move was meant to ensure civility and maturity in the debate over the bills.
Excuse me while I recover from my paroxysm of involuntary hysterical laughter. HAHAHAHAHAHA -- Civility? Civility?
Hey, Michigan men. Here's uncivil. Uncivil is telling me you believe in small government while you authorize the government to attach themselves to the cold metal speculum crawling up my and my daughter's vagina to inspect. Uncivil is telling me I'm too stupid to actually, you know, make my own decisions. Uncivil is bullying your bullsh*t bill through the House of Representatives while treating women like they're half-citizens. That's uncivil. The words vagina and vasectomy? Not so much.
Say it with me. Va-gi-na. Vas-ect-omy. See? They sort of have an alliterative quality. There's nothing uncivil about those words, they're just actual terms for female anatomy and a medical procedure. There's nothing uncivil about them at all.
You guys crawling into my body? That's not only uncivil, it's disgusting.
Did every College Republican from the class of 2003 get elected in 2010 or what? I cannot recall a more childish or idiotic bunch of bone sacks holding office than in the past two years.
Update: In Mitt Romney lying liar fashion, House Speaker Jase Bolger's spokesman tells ABC News that gagging the opposition is "rather common practice." So I Googled to see if that was actually true, and behold! I'm having trouble finding even one article that actually confirms that claim.
Memo to ABC News: You too, can use the Google.
Here's the full statement made to MLive about why they gagged these two women:
It is the responsibility of the Majority Floor Leader, the presiding officer and every Representative to maintain the decorum of the House. Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas has informed Minority Floor Leader Segal that Reps. Brown and Byrum will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives. Under Rep. Stamas’ floor leadership, the House Republicans have allowed more debate on the House floor than ever seen in the past few sessions when House Democrats were in charge. House Republicans often go beyond simply allowing debate by welcoming open and passionate discussion of the issues before this chamber. The only way we can continue doing so, however, is to ensure that the proper level of maturity and civility are maintained on the House floor.
BWAHAHAHAHA. "Maturity and civility?" Check out the boys' reactions to the vajayjay word:
House Republicans didn’t take it well. “What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville). “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
Oh! His delicate wittle ears. He can't bear to say the word out loud. Personally, I think appropriate comeuppance in this case would be for him to name his firstborn Vagina. He'd come to love it. Really.