Published: Apr 06, 2011 8:29 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 06, 2011 5:31 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Florida's Republican House speaker and a Democratic lawmaker have exchanged insults in a dispute over the use of the word "uterus" in floor debate.

Speaker Dean Cannon on Wednesday said the controversy was "silly" and denied that he had banned members from uttering the word.

The Winter Park Republican said he was reprimanding Rep. Scott Randolph for veering off policy matters when the Orlando Democrat suggested his wife would need to "incorporate her uterus" to protect herself from GOP anti-abortion proposals.

Cannon, though, called Randolph one of the chamber's least effective Democrats due to his use of provocative language.

Randolph shot back in a news release calling Cannon the "most effective legislator when it comes to waging war on middle class Floridians."

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