The closing speech in Lansing on June 18, 2012 after Eve Ensler's highly-acclaimed performance of The Vagina Monologues, as performed by female members of the House and professional actresses.
A Michigan lawmaker who was barred from speaking because Republicans objected to her saying "vagina" during debate over anti-abortion legislation performed The Vagina Monologues last night on the Statehouse steps in Lansing.
"I'm overwhelmed," Brown told the crowd. "Who would have thought one little floor speech could end in this?"
Capitol facilities director Steve Benkovsky estimated about 2,500 people watched the "Vaginas Take Back the Capitol!" event, although other sources such as Think Progress estimated 5,000 people in attendance.
Eve Ensler, whose groundbreaking play about women's sexuality still packs theaters 16 years after it debuted, oversaw the performance by Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown, other lawmakers and several actresses.
Watch the video of Ensler closing the performance:
Brown made her comments during debate last week on legislation that supporters say would make abortions safer but that opponents say would make it harder for women to get abortions.
"I'm flattered you're all so concerned about my vagina," she told Republicans. "But no means no."
Brown was barred from speaking in the House during the next day's session. House Republicans say they didn't object to her saying "vagina." They said Brown compared the legislation to rape, violating House decorum. Brown denied the allegation on The Ed Show on Friday.
Watch the video:
Democrat Rep. Lisa Brown was censured after ending a speech against new abortion legislation by saying, "Finally, Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no'.'" Rep. Brown was not allowed to speak on a different legislative issue Thursday. Brown talks to the Ed Show about what she meant to say in her speech and when she'll be allowed to speak again on the Michigan House floor.
Democratic Rep. Barb Byrum said she also was barred from speaking last Thursday because she referred to vasectomies during the debate.
"I'm overwhelmed by how much attention we're getting around the world," Byrum told the crowd last night, just before appearing on The Ed Show. Watch the video:
Hundreds of protestors gathered on the lawn of the Michigan statehouse to listen to a performance of "The Vagina Monologues". Eleven state congresswomen participated in the performance. The demonstration follows the Republican censure order which silenced two state representatives after a debate about an abortion bill last week. We talk to one of the women who was shut down after the abortion debate, Representative Barb Byrum.