Idaho Lawmaker Says Milking Cows Taught Him a Lot About ‘the Women’s Health Thing’

State Rep. Jack Nelsen (R) tried to make a cute little joke before the Agriculture Committee in a state where abortion is banned, then had to apologize.

Idaho Lawmaker Says Milking Cows Taught Him a Lot About ‘the Women’s Health Thing’
Screenshot:Idaho Legislature Media Archive (Fair Use)

When Idaho state Rep. Jack Nelsen (R) introduced himself to the House Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, he attempted to make a joke about his 45 years of experience in dairy farming.

“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, before having a little chuckle to himself.

The Idaho Statesman’s editorial board dragged Nelsen’s ass in a Thursday op-ed, both for comparing women and pregnant people to livestock and for offering opinions on “the women’s health thing”—in a state where abortion is banned.

“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,” they wrote. “It would also be nice if they kept their mouths shut a little more, didn’t insult women and saved Idaho from national embarrassment.”

Nelsen apologized a few hours later for the tasteless joke. “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 emailed to news outlets and posted on his Instagram account on Thursday. “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.”

The apology concluded: “I have always operated and will continue to operate under the standard that the government does not belong in the doctor’s office.” Got it, so you’re going to vote against any bills that would further restrict abortion or target?

One commenter wrote on his post, “MOO MOO MOTHER FUCKER .” And this sentiment does make me wonder if people will start replying to his posts with some early Doja Cat clips.

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