As a result of this remark, she was barred from speaking on the house floor the following day (a colleague was also barred, for comments that mentioned vasectomies). One Republican Representative, Mike Callton, in defending the censure, stated that he found her remarks “so offensive, I don't even want to say it in front of women.”
The censure—not the original comment that inspired it, but the punitive response—generated widespread coverage and enormous discussion in social media. Early the following week, a protest performance of The Vagina Monologues was staged on the steps of the Michigan Statehouse. Rep. Brown participated, along with the author of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, who flew in for the occasion.
The reason for silencing Brown indicated here—the claim that she likened the proposed legislation to rape—seems to be far closer to the truth than the narratives that represent her censure as a bizarre sort of prudishness in the face of the word "vagina." Put another way, Republicans were offended by what Brown said because they correctly discerned what she meant to be accusing them of—and to the extent that Brown denied the charge, she was disingenuous. She may not have intended to say that what they were doing was literally rape. But she surely meant to use rape as a metaphor for what they were doing. She was invoking the broad feminist narrative sketched out above, a narrative which sees abortion regulations and rape as comparable patriarchal tools for controlling women’s sexuality. She saw the legislation as wrong, and wrong for the same general sorts of reasons that rape is wrong.