Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how South Dakota is treating women like cows. Now that judgment has been confirmed ... by South Dakota's own "pro-life" Republican Representative Gordon Howie himself:
When Rep. Gordon Howie, R-Rapid City, mentioned cows and women in the same breaths at the Chamber of Commerce pre-legislative crackerbarrel last week, it didn't sit well with some of the folks who were there.
Because someone in front of me was chattering during questions from the audience, I wasn't able to catch Howie's precise quote (or what exactly was being said on another subject by Rep. Tom Hennies before it). But right after Howie spoke, the firestorm started.
I checked with the Chamber to see if the session was recorded, since I only half-heard Howie's comment myself and wanted to make sure I'd get it right. When I was told by the Chamber that they hadn't taped it, I asked Howie to repeat what he said.
"We place value on life in South Dakota, and even with a mother cow, as soon as you can demonstrate she is pregnant, an even higher value is placed just because she is pregnant," Howie said.
So there you have it: a woman's value depends upon whether she's pregnant or not. A woman's purpose, according to Howie and his right-wing allies who want to criminalize abortion, is to replenish the herd.
But wait! Maybe he ended up not saying what he really meant. Maybe it was a mistake.
Howie said he "enrages" people who don't share his views "because I just don't mince words. I don't choose them well, either. ... Any person who really knows who I am knows I don't place women and livestock on the same level."
No, he says it like he means it. I'm sure he believes women are more valuable than cows. But his meaning comes through loud and clear: Women are heifers and the government is the rancher.