Thousands of pro-choice activists gathered outside the Michigan state capitol last night in protest and solidarity with a state representative who says she was banned from speaking in the legislature last week for using the word "vagina" on the floor of the House. State Representative Lisa Brown (D) used the word during a debate over the GOP-backed bill that would further restrict abortion access in the state. Supporters rallied around Rep. Brown, who performed the 'Vagina Monologues' on the steps of the capitol in protest. Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler joined Rep. Brown to perform an impromptu production of the play with 10 other legislators and several actresses.
Leading up to the protest, Ensler told the Associated Press, "If we ever knew deep in our hearts that the issue about abortion... was not really about fetuses and babies, but really men's terror of women's sexuality and power, I think it's fully evidenced here."
This is the second protest in a week in the Michigan capitol, where hundreds of pro-choice advocates gathered last week in opposition to the same proposed package of anti-abortion legislation Brown herself spoke out against when she said "vagina."
Media Resources: AP 6/19/12; Think Progress 6/19/12; LA Times 6/19/12; VDay Press Release 6/18/12, 6/15/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/13/12, 6/8/12