After a heated debate on the House Floor on Wednesday, Majority Floor Leader Jim Stamas, R-Midland, banned two Democratic female representatives from speaking during session on Thursday.
"It has everything to do with maintaining the decorum of the House and making sure that representatives act professionally and civilly when they're on the House Floor," said Republican Press Secretary Ari Adler.
A video posted to YouTube shows Rep. Lisa Brown, D-West Bloomfield speaking out on Wednesday against a bill to regulate abortions. The video includes the following statement from her, which is believed to be at the center of the controversy.
"Finally Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina, but no means no."
"Mind you, this bill is about abortions. I used the word vagina. A vagina has a part to do with an abortion and that is a medically, anatomically correct word to use. Nobody should be offended by the use of that word," said Rep. Brown.
Republicans say Rep. Brown was silenced on Thursday not because of the use of the word, but how she used it.
"It is the context and the way she used them that the Majority Floor Leader felt was unprofessional and uncivil," said Adler.
Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, was also silenced on Thursday after what happened the day before. She was not allowed to speak about her amendment to the abortion bill, which would regulate vasectomies. Adler complained that Rep. Byrum threw "a temper tantrum" on the House Floor.
However, Rep. Byrum sees the turn of events very differently.
"As a legislator, as a wife, as a mother, this is very concerning that my voice and the voice of my constituents is being squashed," said Rep. Byrum.