January 13, 2023

Republican Rep. Jack Nelsen faces backlash after comparing women to cows during his introductory remarks to the House Agriculture Committee. It wasn't a meeting on women's reproductive rights, but he seemed to claim he was an expert since he's milked so many cows.

"I'm a lifelong dairy farmer who retired, still own part of the dairy; grew up on the farm," he said. "I've milked a few cows, spent most of my time walking behind lines of cows, so if you want some ideas on repro and the women's health thing, I have some definite opinions."

Well, now he issued an apology, according to the Idaho State Journal.

"The women in my life have taught me strength, resilience, integrity, hard work, joy, and love. I absolutely respect women, and the right to choose their own healthcare," Nelsen insisted. "The way I phrased my statement about women and reproductive rights yesterday completely missed the mark. I'm embarrassed, and I offended others in the process. I am deeply sorry. I recognize the mistake and commit to doing better in the future."

He added, "I have always operated and will continue to operate under the standard that the government does not belong in the doctor's office."

A piece by the Idaho Statesman nailed it with a stinging rebuke of Nelson's remarks.

Not only were his comments offensive and embarrassing, they were odd, given that he was simply introducing himself to the House Agriculture Committee. This was how he chose to introduce himself, by comparing women's health care with milking a cow?

After making his comments, Nelsen gave a chuckle, as if it were a laughing matter.
It's not.

Women's reproductive health care is certain to be an important topic of discussion this session, the first since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and Idaho's strict abortion bans went into effect. Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, already has suggested that the Legislature might further restrict birth control options legislatively.

It's scary to think that someone like Nelsen, who fancies himself an expert on "the women's health thing" because he's "spent most of my time walking behind a line of cows," will have a seat at the table when deciding such matters.

Republican men should not have a say in the matter of women's reproductive healthcare. They have insulted us enough already with their insane rape analogies and defense of forcing 10-year-old-impregnated rape victims to give birth.

Apology not accepted!

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