Lawmaker Apologizes After Likening Women to Cows

Editorial had warned comments could make Idaho 'a laughingstock'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2023 2:31 PM CST
Lawmaker Apologizes After Likening Women to Cows
The Idaho House of Representatives meets for a special session at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho, on Sept. 1.   (AP Photo/Keith Ridler, File)

A new Idaho legislator narrowly elected in November thought the first bit of wisdom he should share with a state House committee was that much can be learned about women's reproductive rights by observing milking cows. On Thursday night, hours after being called out in a newspaper editorial, Republican Rep. Jack Nelsen apologized in an email, the Idaho County Free Press reports. The Idaho Statesman's editorial board had called the comments embarrassing and said they could make "Idaho a laughingstock of the nation."

In introducing himself to the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, Nelsen 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." He chuckled when he finished—"as if it were a laughing matter," the Statesman wrote. "It's not." Nelsen agreed in his statement. "I absolutely respect women, and the right to choose their own healthcare," he wrote. "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." (More Idaho stories.)

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