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When the Republican-controlled Michigan House of Representatives banned a Democratic representative from speaking because she used the word “vagina” in debating an anti-abortion bill (which has been called the “most extreme” in the nation), the story went national. 

But the Michigan Republicans’ reaction to the simple word “vagina” was more than just a quirky one-off story that would anger reasonable Americans and provide fodder for late-night talk show monologues. Rather, the aversion to a woman in a position of power daring to utter the word “vagina” during a debate on legislation meant to curb abortion rights is symbolic of one of the festering abscesses (yes, there are more than one) infecting the modern GOP: a destructive obsession with turning back the clock to the 1950s on the role of women in society. This obsession is not only damaging to women and our country, but it has had a disproportionate influence in directing the Republican policy agenda.

There was nothing offensive, off color or controversial about Brown’s remark, unless the listener has an unhealthy obsession with women’s vaginas, as Republicans seem to (specifically, in controlling what they and their owners can and can’t do).”

interested in the bill?

Specifically, the omnibus bill would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape victims, the health of the woman or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly; a narrow exception is permitted when the mother’s life is at risk, as determined by a physician. It would require health centers that provide abortions to have surgery rooms, even when they don’t provide surgical abortions. It would require doctors to be present for medication abortions and to screen women for “coercion” before providing an abortion, and it would create new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains.

The bill would also ban “telemedicine” abortions, or the use of technology to prescribe medication for abortion services and the morning-after pill.”

Posted on the 21st of June, 2012 with 654 notes
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