Democrats Offended by Regier’s Comments

By Beacon Staff

Female legislative leaders are calling on GOP leadership to censure Rep. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, after comments the Flathead lawmaker made comparing women to cattle in a hearing regarding a bill to criminalize offenses involving death to an unborn child. Great Falls Tribune Reporter John S. Adams has the full story over at his blog, Montana Lowdown, where he quotes Regier saying this:

“Ranchers refer to cows as either preg-tested or open,” Regier told the House Judiciary Committee in January. “A preg-tested cow is a cow that has been tested by a veterinarian and confirmed to be pregnant. Open cows are not pregnant. Preg-tested cows bring a higher value than open cows. Why? Because the calf the cow is carrying has a value even though it isn’t complete yet.

“If unfinished buildings and unborn calves have value in Montana, shouldn’t unborn children have a value? Your support of HB167 will show support to all pregnant women in Montana.”

Regier made the same comments on the House floor in January and again in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Democratic Sens. Carol Williams, minority leader, Kim Gillan, minority whip, and Lynda Moss sent a letter to Senate President Jim Peterson and House Speaker Mike Milburn Tuesday that said, in part, “the notion that pregnant women ought to be treated in any way like pregnant cattle is offensive, unacceptable, and embarrassing to our Legislature.”

Here’s the full letter:

Based on the response Republicans provided last night, which Adams posted, it seems unlikely Regier is going to see much punishment. “Unfortunately Senate Democrats are more concerned with slinging mud and misrepresenting the statements of fellow legislators,” Chris Shipp, spokesman for the House Republicans wrote, then wondered whether Democrats would take objection to a quote by Montana’s famed Sen. Jeannette Rankin, who also compared women to cattle in a statement about mothers allowing their sons to go off to war. Here’s the quote, which turned up on a number of websites when I typed it into Google: “Women remind me of the cows on our ranch in Montana. A cow has a calf and after a while a man comes along and takes the calf away.”

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