The so called War on Women has been escalating for months now. Republican controlled legislatures across the country have been proposing and passing laws that aim to restrict the legal procedure of abortion by basically bullying women and doctors with threats of unneeded exams, arrests, and anything else that they can think of.
Until now, the issue of the morality of abortion has been up for debate. Until now.
State Reps. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield, and Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga of the Michigan House of Representatives have been told that they may no longer speak on the House floor. The reason is that they dared to propose an amendment to a that would put new restrictions on abortion provider which would restrict a man’s access to a vasectomy.
Brown, who voted against the legislation, told supporters of the bill, “I’m flattered you’re all so interested in my vagina. But no means no.”
And Byrum was gaveled out of order after she protested when she wasn’t allowed to speak on her amendment to the bill that would have required proof of a medical emergency or that a man’s life was in danger before a doctor could perform a vasectomy. 1
This action by the leader of the Republican controlled house has turned this debate from one about abortion to one of the right to free speech. Not only are the representatives being denied their right to speak about a bill that is up for consideration, they constituents are being denied their rights to representation.
A democracy requires freedom of speech and a voice for everyone in the democratic process. By denying these women their right to speak out against a proposed law that they disagree with, by denying the voters their right to effective representation, the Republican majority seeks to silence the minority. They seek to silence anyone who would dare challenge them. This is not democracy; it is despotism.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion, if you value what the U.S. stands for; freedom, democracy, liberty, then you must abhor an attempt to shut out and silence dissenting voices in the political process.
It is no longer about the morality of abortion. It is about the morality of despotism. It is about the rights of the minority being trampled by the majority.
The American Revolution came about because Great Britain sought to control us against our will, without giving us the right of representation. Now the political majority are attempting to do the same by denying dissenters the right to speak out, thereby denying them, and their voters, a voice in the political process.
We are slowly letting our liberties bleed away and those liberties, once gone, will be difficult to regain. The freedom of speech is the most important right we have. To attempt to take it away by political force should appall and frighten everyone of us.
Don’t let your rights be trampled on just because you agree with those who would take them away. Tell your representatives at every level of government that you won’t let this stand.
As Michigan State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer said,
“Right now we are seeing our Republican colleagues in the House working to take away our rights to choose, our rights to health care, our rights to make decisions about our bodies. And just today, they’re taking away our female colleagues rights in the House, they’re right to speak on the floor.” 2