Idaho legislator ’embarrassed,’ apologises for comparing women to dairy cows
Nelsen admitted to being “embarrassed” and “offending people.”
“The way I expressed my comments regarding women and reproductive rights yesterday utterly missed the target,” Nelsen stated in an emailed statement. “I really apologise. I own my error and promise to do better in the future.”
During the first meeting of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee of the parliamentary session, Nelsen stated that he is a “lifelong dairy farmer” who has “milked a few cows” and spends “much of my time wandering behind lines of cows.”
“So if you want some suggestions on repro (reproduction) and women’s health, I have some solid opinions,” he joked.
The remark garnered harsh criticism on social media as well as national media coverage.
“Let us be clear: Politicians like Jack Nelsen have no business forcing our reproductive health care decisions. “Period,” declared the Idaho Democratic Party in a tweet.
Nelsen is a Magic Valley music instructor and former county planning and zoning and water resource commissioner. Nelsen ran on local control of water and schools, as well as the preservation of agricultural property, before beating Democrat Karma Metzler Fitzgerald in one of Idaho’s few swing districts in November.
During his candidature, he also stated that the government should not be involved in abortion care, separating himself from fellow Idaho Republicans who established a near-total ban on abortion.
Nelsen apologised, saying that the ladies in his life showed him “strength, perseverance, honesty, hard work, joy, and love.”
“I completely support women’s freedom to chose their own health care,” he stated. “I have always and will continue to work under the premise that the government has no place in a doctor’s office.”