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Office Defends Censorship: 'Context' Was Problem With Rep's Use Of 'V-Word'

LANSING (WWJ) - The Speaker of the House's office is defending the decision to reprimanded a state lawmaker who said "vagina" during a discussion on the House floor.

Rep. Lisa Brown, a Democrat, was told by House Republican leaders she could not participate in debate Thursday because she used the word "vagina" during a discussion about abortion legislation the day before.

Her words on the House floor Wednesday were: "And, finally, Mr. Speaker — I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no."

WWJ  Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick spoke with Ari Adler, press secretary for House Speaker James Bolger.

"Was the use of the v-word the problem for Ms. Brown? Skubick asked.

"It was the context in which it was used and the way it was used, that was the problem," said Adler.

Adler said the situation will be resolved when the chamber resumes after a summer break.

In an interview Thursday with Skubick, Brown defended her comments.

"I used an anatomically correct word. I said 'vagina.' Is there something wrong with that? Can I not say 'elbow?' I don't see what the difference is," she said.

The House Speaker's office said they need to ensure that "maturity and civility are maintained on the House floor."

Hear exactly what Brown said in the video below:

Rep. Lisa Brown Talks About Kosher Dishes & Her Vagina by Rabbi Jason Miller on YouTube

Several people called the WWJ Listener Comment Line at 248-455-7230, with their reactions to this story. Here are just some of the comments we received:

-- "She did it for one reason and one reason only, for shock and awe."

-- "She was not saying it in a lewd way, she was comparing it to an elbow."

-- "If they can't tolerate hearing the word, it would seem that they've got no business legislating."

-- "What a bunch of ignoramuses. What is this, politically correctness run amok or just general stupidity run amok? Give me a break already."

-- "We now have a battle cry to use against Michigan Republicans this year for the elections, and the word is 'vagina.'"

-- "I think she was completely unprofessional, she's a horrible role model for professional women."

-- "They have rules for decorum and she broke the rules. End of story."

-- "If a man was to say in return to her 'Well, thank you for being so interested in my penis,' there would probably be a sexual lawsuit."

-- "This controversy is not about the word, it's about the behavior."

-- "It's not like she was giving factual information on vaginas or anatomy. A baby grows in the uterus, not the vagina."

Where do you weigh in? Leave your comments below.

MORE: Michigan Rep. Censored For Use Of 'V-Word'

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