CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Republican legislator is drawing ire for referring to women as "vaginas" in an email to his House colleagues during a debate over repealing a law allowing people to use deadly force to defend themselves.
In an email sent April 1, state Rep. Peter Hansen of Amherst referred to a speech given by another lawmaker, who described how he had been able to retreat without using deadly force in public.
"There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina's of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims," Hansen wrote, according to messages posted online this week by liberal blogger Susan Bruce.
Other lawmakers, NARAL-Pro Choice New Hampshire and state GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn were among those saying the remark debased women.
"These comments are repugnant and unbecoming of an elected official," said House Republican Leader Gene Chandler of Bartlett. "They have no place in public discourse. Rep. Hansen's comments in no way reflect the opinions of House Republicans or the Republican Party. Rep. Hansen should apologize immediately."
Hansen, 70, said Tuesday that he didn't regret the remark and that critics don't understand the context.
"My point in the choice of words was two-fold: One was shock content and the other was to try to get into the mind of the perpetrator," Hansen told The Telegraph of Nashua. "This is something that has been totally blown out of proportion."