Holy crap.

Trust me--just watch this:

Here's the context/backstory, though I suspect you can get the gist of it from Rep. Brown's comments:

What these bills do (partial list):

20 Week Ban: Bans abortions at 20 weeks and does NOT include a health exemption for the mother. Does NOT include exemption for rape, incest, fetal anomaly, and has limited medical emergency exemption. Also, the bill establishes that the Michigan legislature asserts that fetuses feel pain.

Fetal Remains: A fetus 8 weeks gestation or over resulting from an abortion would be required to be disposed of in the same manner as other dead bodies: burial, cremation or interment. This is another simple way for the GOP to frustrate and add costs to these services.

Creates unnecessary and burdensome licensing requirements for health centers that perform abortions: Eliminates the current exemption for health centers that perform primarily family planning services would be change the law to include all facilities that publically advertise outpatient abortion services and perform 6 or more abortions per month.

Off-Label Prohibition: Prohibits the use of industry-recognized safe and common medication abortion practices. In plain terms, this will prevent doctors from prescribing medicine as they do now. Currently, doctors might prescribe a mix of abortion medications because that mix has proven to be most effective, with the minimum of side effects. These bills would prevent using the medication in a way not directed on the label.

Telemedicine Ban: Prohibits the use of telemedicine to provide women with medication abortion services. These bills will prevent women in rural areas from access to emergency contraception if the medication is directed by a physician over the phone or internet.

Here's a transcript of the video for those who can't watch it at the moment:
"The sargeant is now removing 10,000 cards like these, from constituents across the state, whose voices were not allowed to be heard in committee, who stand and demand their rights.

"This legislation...there were three boxes; there were more than 10,000 cards...this legislation does a lot of things, Mr. Speaker. It regulates business, requiring exorbitant insurance policies to be purchased, which will result in clinics closing doors, causing people to lose their jobs, and denying women their Constitutional rights.

"Yesterday we heard from the Representative from Holland, speak about religious freedom. I'm Jewish. I keep kosher in my home. I have 2 sets of dishes--one for meat and one for dairy, and another 2 sets of dishes on top of that for Passover. Judaism believes that therapeutic abortions, namely abortions performed in order to preserve the life of the mother, are not only permissible, but mandatory. The stage of pregnancy does not matter. Wherever there's a question of the life of the mother, or that of the unborn child, Jewish law rules in favor of preserving the life of the mother. The status of the fetus as human life does not equal that of the mother.

"I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?

"And finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no!"

UPDATE: OK, now that I have your attention, here's some info on the woman in the video, Michigan State Representative Lisa Brown: She's a second-term progressive Democrat who's been serving West Bloomfield for 3 1/2 years. She lost her first race in 2006 by a hair but won solidly in 2008. In 2010 she won in a true nailbiter--by only 86 votes, thanks to absentee ballots. From Wikipedia:
Lisa Brown was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 26, 1967. She graduated from Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1985. She received a BS in Psychology from Michigan State University in 1989. Brown went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from the Detroit College of Law in 1993. While at law school, she served as a clerk for two law firms. Brown practiced law for several years, handling probate issues. She then worked as a realtor with Max Broock Realtors in West Bloomfield Township.
Lisa Brown lives in West Bloomfield with her three sons. Prior to her election, She served on the PTA of West Hills Middle School and Pine Lake Elementary School. Lisa Brown is Jewish and attends Adat Shalom, a Conservative Synagogue in Farmington Hills. She served on the Region Board of Directors and is a life member of World ORT, a "non-profit non-governmental organization whose mission is the advancement of Jewish and other people through training and education". She is on the Executive Board of Directors of JARC, the Jewish Association for Residential Care.
The bad news is that she's decided not to run for a third term, which is a shame since she does a fantastic job. The good news is that she is running for Oakland County Clerk against the incumbent, Republican Bill Bullard, who got promoted to that position when his boss, Ruth Johnson, became Michigan's Secretary of State in the 2010 Red Tidal Wave.

I've met Lisa Brown several times (her district is right next to mine, and my parents live in her district). She's awesome, and could use your support...unfortunately, I haven't found her new campaign website yet (and you can't use ActBlue since she's running for a county-level position this time). As soon as I have a link I'll provide it, if not in an update to this diary, then to a follow-up one in the near future.

NOTE UPDATE x5 BELOW...it turns out you CAN help her via ActBlue!

Update x2: Rep. Brown has been censored by the Republican State House leadership for daring to utter the "V" word. Shocking, I know.

Update x3: Columnist Susan J. Demas has a dead-on target piece about Lisa Brown and the Michigan GOP posted over at MLive:

These were hardly the most polite things ever said on the House floor. But then again, I wouldn't describe a bill that could force a woman to have a stillborn baby, even if it causes severe health complications and infertility, to be polite legislation. Nor would I describe it as pro-life.
Update x4: Normally I would provide links to donate to Rep. Brown's campaign for Oakland County Clerk. Unfortunately, so far I've been unable to find her campaign site, and she can't use ActBlue since it's a county-level race, so for the time being, here's a link to the Michigan House Democratic Caucus donation page. I'll post Lisa Brown's own contribution link as soon as I can find one.
UPDATE x5: IMPORTANT!! I just got off the phone with Rep. Brown's campaign manager, who informed me that YES, you CAN donate to her State Rep ActBlue account after all, as the money can be legally transferred over to her County Clerk campaign fund!

So, with that cleared up, please help Lisa Brown's "V for Victory!" fund now!


Goal Thermometer

Update x7: HOLY MOLY.

According to Michigan State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, the House GOP has banned ALL DEMOCRATIC WOMEN FROM SPEAKING on the House floor, indefinitely.

(NOTE: See update x8 below)

Today, they’ve even taken away our right to voice our opposition to their actions.  Speaker of the House Jase Bolger informed House Democrats that female Representatives have been banned indefinitely from being able to speak on the floor of the House of Representatives, silencing their abilities to speak out for themselves, their constituents and women across the state.
In shorter language: "Shut yer pie holes, bitches, and go make me some pie!"

Update x8: Hmmm...according to the MI GOP's Facebook page, "only" Brown and Byrum are being censored, not all women in the House.

Well, now, I guess that makes everything OK, then...

Update x9: Just two quick additions before I turn in:

First, Rep. Brown and Byrum's Democratic colleagues in the State Senate, Gretchen Whitmer and Rebekah Warren, have posted a video about this horrific bill, the incident yesterday, and the overall GOP war on women:

Second, and finally, thanks to ScottyUrb for pointing out the following line from the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure:

764.25b Body cavity search.
Sec. 25b.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Body cavity” means the interior of the human body not visible by normal observation, being the stomach or rectal cavity of a person and the vagina of a female person.

Apparently Michigan is gonna have to throw out their entire penal code.


Final, final update: CHANGE.ORG is featuring a petition to demand that Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger (yes, that's his name) lift the censorship of Rep's Brown and Byrum. I know these things don't have a whole lot of effect, but it's still a good thing to do...

One More Update: Wow, I wasn't expecting this to still be at the top of the Rec list...

Anyway, ThinkProgress has been spreading the word about Lisa Brown's stance, which is good. Unfortunately, they also GOT HER QUOTE WRONG, which is NOT good, and people have been posting & reposting a photo with the WRONG QUOTE on Facebook since yesterday afternoon.

The photo they're posting has the quote as, "I'm flattered that you want to get in my vagina, but no means no!"

The ACTUAL QUOTE was, "I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no!"

Aside from simple professionalism (ie, getting the facts correct), this is an important distinction in terms of "justifying" the claims that she "violated decorum", which she clearly didn't. The false quote was quite a bit more sharply worded than the actual one.

As such, I've uploaded the CORRECTED photo:

Originally posted to Brainwrap on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 09:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy.

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