The vagina heard ’round the world

By Steve Neavling

When state Rep. Lisa Peterson turned her vagina into a powerful metaphor for the attack on women’s rights last week, the West Bloomfield Democrat did Michigan a favor.

She drew attention to one of the country’s most sweeping anti-abortion bills.

Conservative lawmakers are launching an egregious assault on reproductive health care with legislation that would restrict access to clinics. Other provisions ignore contemporary medical protocol.

Michigan, in other words, is becoming the new battleground for extreme legislation that will endanger women and violate their constitutional rights.

So when Peterson told Republicans last week that she’s flattered with their concern over her vagina, but “no means no,” she sent a resounding message that enough is enough.

Conservatives hurt their cause by barring Peterson from speaking further from the House floor.

Now pro-choice shirts, stickers and buttons emblazoned with the word, “Vagina,” are sweeping across the country.

Today, some lawmakers will join Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues, to perform the Tony Award-winning play on the state Capitol steps.

It’s unclear whether the bill will pass. It ultimately needs the signature of Gov. Rick Snyder, who has not indicated how he would vote.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.