close

Group delivers signatures asking for GOP apology (The Macomb Daily)

Published July 18, 2012 by The Macomb Daily.

By Kathy Barks Hoffman of the Associated Press.

Macomb Daily logo

 

 

 

 

Published: 07.19.12| Updated: 07.23.12

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan groups upset over last month’s silencing of a female Democratic lawmaker who said “vagina” during a House debate about anti-abortion legislation and another who said “vasectomy” held a rally Wednesday, declaring they’re tired of women’s bodies being treated like a “political toy.”

“We don’t need new laws” regulating abortion and women’s health care, Renee Chelian of Northland Family Planning in southeast Michigan told a crowd of more than 100 protesters at the Capitol. “We can be trusted to make our own health care choices.”

She said Republican lawmakers are spending most of their time “on social issues — primarily abortion — right now, while cutting financial aid to our schools, food for children and any kind of financial need for the poor.”

“Our bodies have been made a political toy,” Chelian added. “I don’t want that for my daughters, and I don’t want it for yours.”

Earlier in the day, members of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America brought more than 115,000 signatures to the office of House GOP Speaker Jase Bolger. The petition asks Republican leaders to publicly apologize to state Reps. Lisa Brown of West Bloomfield and Barb Byrum of Onondaga after suspending their speaking privileges for one day last month.

Bolger spokesman Ari Adler said he doesn’t anticipate any apology is forthcoming.

“They violated the decorum of the House and they were gaveled down for it, and then they were not recognized for the one day because of their actions,” he said.

In a dig at that sanction, Byrum on Wednesday noted during comments on the House floor “what a privilege” it was to recognize guests from her district sitting in the House balcony. Brown hadn’t been allowed to recognize guests June 14 after her speaking privileges were taken away.

The Michigan Women’s Power Assembly rally consisted of supporters from labor unions, family planning groups and women’s equality organizations who made it clear they were unhappy with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers who control the House and Senate.

Several held up pink signs that said, “Attention 2012 candidates: I’m watching and I will vote.”

“Supporters of women’s health are more energized than ever,” Meghan Groen of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan said during the rally. “Women showing up is making a difference. Together, our voices will be heard.”

Find A Health Center

or

Search