Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michigan Rep. Lisa Brown Talks About Her Kosher Kitchen and Her Vagina on House Floor

The title of this blog post would seem odd unless you are familiar with Lisa Brown's speech on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday. Somehow Brown, a State Representative from West Bloomfield, Michigan, managed to segue from a personal account of her kosher observance at home to mention that her vagina was not to be a topic discussed by her congressional colleagues.

For mentioning the word "vagina," Brown was blocked from speaking on the state House floor today as punishment. Her speech yesterday was addressing a controversial bill that would have further regulated abortions in Michigan. At the end of her speech, Brown said, "Finally Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but 'no' means 'no.'"



So today, the Speaker of House censured Brown, refusing her to participate in a discussion of a school employee retirement bill. The Speaker's argument was that Brown's use of the word "vagina," which is the technical, medical term for a part of the woman's anatomy was a violation of the Michigan State House's policy on decorum.

What I found more interesting than Brown's rejoinder to her Republican colleagues across the aisle that her vagina was off limits was Brown's description of her kosher observance and a cogent explanation for Judaism's treatment of abortion.

Rep. Lisa Brown referenced the talk by her colleague from Holland, Michigan who spoke about religious freedom. She then went on to speak personally about her own faith.

I'm Jewish. I keep kosher in my home. I have two sets of dishes. One for meat and one for dairy, and another two sets of dishes on top of that for Passover. Judaism believes that therapeutic abortions, namely abortions performed in order to preserve the life of the mother are not only permissable but mandatory. The stage of pregnancy does not matter. Wherever there is a question of the life of the mother or that of the unborn child, Jewish law rules in favor of preserving the life of the mother. The status of the fetus as human life does not equal that of the mother. I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?
Here is the video clip of Rep. Lisa Brown's talk on the House floor yesterday.







Rep. Lisa Brown (a fellow Bloomfield Hills Andover High School and Michigan State University alum) gave a press conference today in Lansing following the House of Representative's decision to ban her from speaking in today's session. The video of her press conference is available here.

2 comments:

the shupester said...

You know, I think that Representative Brown has been more influenced by our culture than by Torah on this one. Nearly 50 times the Tenach uses the word ḇeṭen to describe the place that life is first nurtured. Many of these speak in sacred terms of the preciousness of new life and a future known only Hashem. Who are we to destroy that which He has knit (Tehillim 139:13)?

The sacredness of all life is a lesson throughout our heritage, even if wasn't planned, intended, or desired.

bacci40 said...

the shupester,

think you should listen to what brown said again

and maybe you should speak to your rav about what is and what is not allowed, in regards to abortion

she is right...and in fact, i know more than just a few cases where abortions were allowed in regards to the mental health of the mother