Decorous: Introducing a bill that increases the difficulty of obtaining an abortion and burdens abortion providers with the additional liability of yet another unenforceable criminal law relating to abortion.
Failing to Maintain Decorum: Saying “vagina” while discussing a bill that directly affects one’s own choices concerning one’s uterus, ovaries, and vagina.
If you find that distinction annoying and offensive, you may wish to mail Speaker Bolger a postcard with the word “vagina” on it. Here’s his mailing address:
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48933
Details after the jump:
State Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, and Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga were gaveled down and prevented from speaking in the debate on an anti-abortion bill, which ultimately passed 70-39. Brown’s crime was a pithy comment to supporters of the legislation: “I’m flattered you’re all so concerned about my vagina. But no means no.”
Byrum was ruled out of order for complaining when the majority floor leader did not recognize her to speak on her own amendment to the bill. Analogous to a Republican amendment banning abortions past 20 weeks unless medically necessary, Byrum’s amendment would have required proof of medical necessity for vasectomy procedures.
A statement from the Speaker’s spokesman (what, the Speaker can’t speak for himself?) clarifies his thinking, as much as is possible:
Ari Adler, spokesman for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, said it was the prerogative of Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, to maintain order and decorum during session of the House.
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,” Adler said.
“House Republicans often go beyond simply allowing debate by welcoming open and passionate discussion of the issues before this chamber,” he added. “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.”
Funny how it’s acceptable and even encouraged to introduce a whole piece of legislation focused on preventing women from deciding which intimate medical procedures are “necessary” for themselves, but it’s out of order, un-decorous, immature, and uncivil to introduce an amendment doing the same for intimate medical procedures concerning male organs.
I’m proud of both of my sisters for teaching their children to call body parts by the correct names. Good thing none of my nieces or nephews serve in the Michigan state house, where the mature and responsible habit they’re learning would get them gaveled down and condescended to.
Perhaps Speaker Bolger would prefer “hoo-ha,” “vagoo,” or “no-no-square?”