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Nurses Tell Rep. Liss: Stop Betraying Your Profession!

Press Release, 6/19/12

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Representative, an ER nurse, supports silencing women, voted to restrict health care

State Rep. Lesia Liss (D-Warren) is betraying the nursing profession by supporting the silencing of female legislators, the Michigan Nurses Association said today. Liss, an emergency room nurse, voted for legislation last week that dangerously restricts women’s health care options and said today that criticism of House Republicans for banning the two female leaders from speaking is “making women look bad.”
 
“Lesia Liss is betraying her profession as a nurse by defending leaders who believe women should be silent,” said Katie Oppenheim, a registered nurse at the University of Michigan.  “Every good nurse – and most nurses are women – can relate to getting in trouble for speaking up, because we are obligated to advocate for our patients. The idea of a female leader in this day and age saying women should ‘mind their P’s and Q’s’ is appalling. When nurses ‘mind their P’s and Q’s,’ people die.”
 
In what has become national news, Representatives Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) and Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) were banned from speaking on the House floor last week after Brown used the word “vagina” and Byrum used the word “vasectomy” when speaking against dangerous legislation that interferes with women’s ability to make their own decisions about their own health.
           
Liss said through her husband in a Detroit Free Press article that she objected to some of the language used in the debate over the legislation.
 
Liss said Republican leaders are doing a “wonderful” job handling debate on the House floor and that criticism of the ban on the female legislators is “making women look bad,” the Capitol newsletter Gongwer reported today.
 
Liss said in the Capitol newsletter MIRS today that she understands that women need to “mind their P’s and Q’s” and that the uproar over the apparently unprecedented silencing of the two women is an “embarrassment.”
           
“It’s outrageous that Representative Liss believes that women supporting women is ‘an embarrassment,’” said Oppenheim, who attended the Vagina Monologuesperformance at the Capitol with thousands of other Michigan residents Monday night. “Frankly, Lesia Liss is an embarrassment to me as a nurse. It’s bad enough that a health care provider voted to endanger women with regressive laws, but for her to speak out in defense of leaders who silence women is reprehensible.”
 
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