A joke made by Idaho state Rep. Jack Nelsen (R) this Tuesday when he was introducing himself to the House Agriculture Committee didn't go over too well, since many interpreted the remarks as him comparing women to livestock.
“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,” Nelsen said.
An op-ed from the Idaho Statesman's editorial board said it would be nice if "men like Nelsen would demonstrate a bit of humility and decency, and not paint themselves as experts in women’s health care—which they certainly are not."
“It would also be nice if they kept their mouths shut a little more, didn’t insult women and saved Idaho from national embarrassment," the op-ed stated.
His comments were also highlighted by the Idaho Democratic Party.
In a tweet, the party said: "Let us be clear: politicians like Jack Nelsen have no business mandating our reproductive health care decisions. Period."
Nelsen ended up apologizing after he was called out for the remark.
“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 said in a statement. “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.”
“I have always operated and will continue to operate under the standard that the government does not belong in the doctor’s office,” he added.
\u201cICYMI: Idaho Republican Rep. Jack Nelsen compares women to farm animals and says experience working with cattle has given him "ideas on repro and women's health thing" in his first-ever committee meeting.\u201d— Idaho Democratic Party (@Idaho Democratic Party) 1673542983