Two state lawmakers have been banned for one day from speaking during House debates. House Republican leaders sanctioned the women, both Democrats, for their behavior during a debate on anti-abortion legislation.
This is the first time in memory that lawmakers have been officially barred from speaking on the House floor. This is the comment that got state Representative Lisa Brown in hot water with House Republican leaders.
“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no,” she said.
Brown was speaking during a debate on anti-abortion bills, and has no apologies for what she said.
“I used an anatomically correct word. I said ‘vagina.’ Can I not say ‘elbow?’ I don’t see what the difference is,” she says.
State Representative Barb Byrum was also slapped with a one-day speaking ban. She shouted at the presiding officer of the House for failing to recognize her when she wanted to speak during the abortion debate.
A House G.O.P. spokesman said the behavior in both cases was a breach of decorum.
“It is the responsibility of every member who serves in the House of Representatives to maintain decorum on the House floor and when they do not do that, there can be actions because of that. And the action today is to not recognize either representative to speak on the House floor,” says Ari Adler.