State Rep. Brown tells 7 Action News "vagina" remark was not meant to shock

(WXYZ) - State Representative Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) is speaking out after being banned from speaking on the floor of the legislature.

Brown and fellow State Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) were banned Thursday by Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas (R-Midland) following the contentious debate Wednesday over a series of bills that would restrict abortions in Michigan.

During the debate Brown used the word "vagina" and Byrum proposed an amendment that would ban vasectomies unless the man's life is in danger. Stamas says he banned the two women because they failed to maintain the decorum of the House.

Appearing on 7 Action News at 5, Brown said that her point in saying "vagina was that she did not think abortion is an issue the legislature needs to be focusing on right now.

"We have a little trouble with our economy right now and our Governor said job number one was jobs," Brown said. "We really have not done anything to move Michigan forward this term."

Assistant Majority Floor Leader Lisa Posthumus-Lyons told 7 Action News that Brown was actually banned over her used of the phrase "No means no," which, Posthumus-Lyons says, many members took as comparing the abortion bill to rape.

Brown told 7 Action News anchor JoAnne Purtan that she was never notified by the Republican majority that that was the reason she was banned. She says she was actually informed by her own party that she was banned and that the first time she heard about the the issue with her "No means no" comment was during our broadcast.

She also said that her comments did not reference rape. Brown said she was simply referring to the fact that she did not support the legislation.

Posthumus-Lyons also spoke with 7 Action News about the banning of Byrum, saying she was banned because she she ran down the aisle and was "screaming and shouting" and that "what she said isn't the issue, it's the manner in which she said it while not being recognized. She was basically out of order."

When informed of what Posthumus-Lyons said, State Representative Byrum issued the following statement to 7 Action News:

That is physically impossible as I have a knee injury.

It's clear that the Republicans would rather have me in the kitchen making sandwiches than in the Legislature making laws.

I am disappointed that our level of discourse has come to this.

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