The GOP state legislature has ideas about female reproductive issues because they know their way around cows

The GOP state legislature has ideas about female reproductive issues because they know their way around cows

  • US News
  • January 14, 2023
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A Republican lawmaker in Idaho has been mired in a world of trouble since he claims he’s some sort of expert on female procreation for working with cows.

“I milked a few cows and spent most of the time running behind rows of cows. So if you want some ideas on repro and women’s health, I have some strong opinions,” said freshman Rep. Jack Nelsen, a retired dairy farmer, said earlier this week when addressing the House Agriculture Committee, according to the Idaho State Journal presented by the state.

The anger that followed was so searing that Nelsen later apologized for his comments, which he admitted were “inappropriate”.

“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 health care,” Nelsen said in a statement Thursday. He said his comments “completely missed the point,” adding, “I’m embarrassed … I’m deeply sorry.”

Just hours before the apology, the Idaho Statesman newspaper scorched Nelsen in an editorial for making the state a “laughing stock.”

“Not only were his comments offensive and embarrassing, they were also odd given that he was only introducing himself to the House Agriculture Committee,” the editorial said. “Is that how he imagined it, comparing women’s health care to milking a cow?”

It’s particularly worrying because the state may consider further restricting women’s reproductive rights after the US Supreme Court last year ruled the Roe v. Wade had jettisoned established abortion rights, the editorial noted.

“It’s scary to imagine someone like Nelsen, who considers himself an expert on ‘women’s health’ because he’s ‘spent most of his time chasing after a row of cows’, sitting around the table when making decisions like this will sit. ‘ the editor regretted.

It “would be nice if men like Nelsen showed a little humility and decency and didn’t present themselves as experts in women’s health care – which they certainly aren’t,” the editorial added. “It would also be nice if they shut up a little more, didn’t offend women, and saved Idaho from national embarrassment.”

The newspaper updated the editorial following Nelsen’s apology. But the editors were not particularly reassured.

She “appreciated” Nelsen’s apology. However, it has also been suggested that he may simply be following a “playbook that has proven successful in the past: say something stupid, apologize contritely, and then keep voting in a way that’s consistent with the underlying mindset, that your words convey.”

Read the entire editorial here.

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