June 20, 2012 — A few thousand people attended a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" at the Michigan Capitol on Monday to protest recently passed antiabortion legislation and the silencing of female legislators as part of the debate, the Detroit Free Press reports.
State Reps. Lisa Brown (D) and Barb Byrum (D) were barred from speaking on the House floor on Thursday after voicing opposition to the legislation the day before. Brown said House Republican leaders made the decision as punishment for her use of the word "vagina" during a speech, although the leadership said the discipline was in response to displays of incivility (Bell/Gray, Detroit Free Press, 6/19).
Capitol facilities personnel estimated that 2,500 to 3,000 people attended Monday's performance, which featured female Democratic lawmakers and playwright Eve Ensler, according to MLive (Howell, MLive, 6/19).
Supporters of the legislation did not attend the performance, which they said was politically motivated (Bell, Detroit Free Press, 6/18).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.