Following her censure from speaking in the Michigan House for her now-infamous utterance of the word “vagina” Thursday, Rep. Lisa Brown will be performing The Vagina Monologues on the Capitol steps tonight alongside eight other female legislators and the playwright herself, Eve Ensler, according to the NY Daily News.
While most reports of the incident have focused on the line, “Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no,” the line for which she was banned from speaking, such reports distract from the powerful argument Rep. Brown made just prior. So I’ll quote that statement again.
“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?”
This is a compelling argument considering the religion-based motives used to justify anti-abortion legislation. From a practical standpoint, the problem is obvious. You can’t write a law that will please both conflicting religious standpoints.
But from a troll-baiting perspective, it’s far more interesting. Consider everything you know about the types of people who would prefer that the laws governing all people to represent their own specific religious ideology. Rep. Brown’s statement essentially dares anti-semites to call her a baby killer, and use her statement to justify their bigotry. How a person reacts to the idea of Jewish law mandating an abortion can reveal mountains about their own prejudices.