New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Hansen referred to women as "vaginas" in an email to legislative colleagues during a debate over repealing a law allowing people to use deadly force to defend themselves.
Hansen, of Amherst, N.H., sent an email on April 1, that referred to a speech by another lawmaker, who described how he had retreated from an incident without the use of deadly force in public.
Hansen, according to an AP story that referred to post from liberal blogger Susan Bruce, wrote, "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."
Other lawmakers, NARAL-Pro Choice New Hampshire and state GOP chairwoman Jennifer Horn said the remark debased women.
"These comments are repugnant and unbecoming of an elected official," House Republican Leader Gene Chandler of Bartlett said in a statement. "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 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."