Let me see if I’ve got this straight:
- Women have to ask their employers if they allow birth control in their prescription plans.
- Women have to ask their legislators if they can please get birth control through insurance.
- Women have to ask their employers if they can please use birth control and not be fired.
- Now female legislators have to ask permission to discuss their own anatomy; the very anatomy that is the focus of legislation being introduced all across the country by a bunch of condescending, flaccid twits.
According to Politico, Elected Michigan Representative Lisa Brown was:
“…blocked from speaking on the state House floor as punishment for referencing her private parts in an earlier speech.”
That earlier speech was in opposition to Michigan HB 5711, 12, and 13, an over-the-top set of anti-abortion bills crafted by state Republican legislators. Some of the bill’s requirements, as summarised by Think Progress, include (my emphasis):
“Transforms Doctors Into Detectives: The Republican-backed legislation would make it a crime for anyone to coerce a woman into having an abortion. Doctors will have to give their patients a questionnaire to inform them of the illegality of coercion and determine if the woman had been coerced or is the victim of domestic abuse before the abortion procedure.”
“Limits Access For Rural Women: Under the omnibus bill, doctors would have to be physically present to perform a medication abortion, thus preventing a doctor from administering abortion-inducing medication by consulting via telephone or Internet. This would especially hurt rural women, who may have to travel hours to meet in-person with a specialist.”
“Requires Doctors To Purchase Costly Malpractice Insurance: If HB 5711 goes into effect, then doctors would be required to carry $1 million in liability insurance if they perform five or more abortions each month or have been subject to two more more civil suits in the past seven years, among other requirements. But the qualifications are so vague that almost all doctors who perform abortions could be required to carry the additional liability insurance at a potential cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Regulates Clinics Out Of Existence: HB 5711 would create new regulations so that any clinic that provides six or more abortions in a month or one which advertises abortion services would have to be licensed as a “freestanding surgical outpatient facility.” That means that even if a clinic does not offer surgical abortions, it would be required to have a full surgical suite.”
One of the bills also states that:
“Unborn child” means an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.
Ms. Brown was not the only female legislator who voiced her objections to the bill; Dian Slavens, was angered by the fact that Michigan Right to Life evidently had a hand in writing the bills:
“…it’s disappointing not just to me but to the citizens of this great state, I had a letter from the right to life, letting us know that there were technical changes in 57-11. You know, it’s so nice to know that Right To Life is helping write the legislation, as a medical professional we should be talking to our obstetrician we should be getting input from them, Mr. Speaker. Not from outside entities like Right To Life, I think that’s wrong.”
And Rep. Barb Byrum
“was gaveled out of order after she objected to being denied the chance to speak in support of her amendment that would have required a man to provide proof of a medical emergency or a threat to his life before obtaining a vasectomy.”
After blocking the women from speaking on the floor, House Speaker Jase Bolger, said in a letter to the press corps that Byrum was being punished because she,
“threw a temper tantrum on the House floor.”
Ari Adler, a spokesperson for the Republican majority, said:
“For Brown, it was not the words she used, but the way she used them that resulted in her being gaveled down”
They “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,” the spokesman said.
He continued, “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.”
As can be expected, the rules seem to be different for the ladies than they are for the men. In 2011, Michigan Representatives David Nathan and Harvey Santana came close to a physical altercation and had to be separated by fellow lawmakers; however, they were not prohibited from carrying on the state’s business. According to the Huffington Post:
“Representative Harvey Santana lunged at fellow Detroit Democrat David Nathan during a heated discussion at Nathan’s desk. State Representative Roy Schmidt got between the two and was knocked about. A staffer was also accidentally pushed to the floor as House security rushed to break up the altercation. Santana was escorted out of the room by the House sergeant at arms, but was later allowed to return to his seat to vote.”
According to Wood TV 8:
Ari Adler, spokesperson for House Speaker Jase Bolger, confirmed that there was an altercation involving Santana and Nathan. He said the House Sergeants reacted immediately and the House resumed its business.
I guess the definitions of “maturity” and “civility” are subject to the whim of the House Speaker.
As for Brown, Slaven, and Byrum, they were elected to represent their constituents, not pussy-foot around the hot-button issues. In addition, their frustration was understandable. According to Lee Tilson of Rethinking Patient Safety,
“Dozens of women who opposed the bills were in the audience. However, the Health Policy Committee only allowed three women to speak. It is not coincidence that the three women speakers supported the bills. Not one woman who opposed these restrictions on women’s rights was allowed to address the Committee.”
If the Republicans want to attempt to legislate reproduction, then they should be big boys about the terminology; some however, can’t even utter the appropriate words. The Detroit News quoted Michigan Rep. Mike Callton:
“What she said was offensive… It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
Callton is obviously a product of abstinence-only sex ed. It’s scary to think our reproductive freedom, and now even our freedom of speech, is in the hands of the socially and mentally stunted. How do these guys manage to reproduce?