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UK News

Catholic Government minister Jacob Rees-Mogg faces criticism over abortion comments

by Sophie Drew

A Labour MP is urging Jacob Rees-Mogg to rephrase a statement in which he refers to the “morning after pill” as a “abortifacient”. 

Dame Diana Johnson claims that the comment could perpetuate “harmful clinical falsehoods”, and is calling for him to correct the record. 

Rees-Mogg – a member of the Catholic Church – was asked if he would make time for a debate on sexual and reproductive health, but said he would not “speak in favour of abortifacients”. 

The minister has publically spoken against abortion in the past, but the World Health Organisation says the pill does not include an abortion and it would not come under that label. 

The Women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, Rose Stokes and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) campaigned to have the “sexist surcharge” removed from the morning after pills bought in Boots, resulting in it costing £5 less than it did before. 

The morning after pill will now cost £10.99 when bought through the pharmacy chain. 

Dame Diana stated that cuts to the NHS have made it more difficult for women to seek contraceptive services and asked Rees-Mogg to pencil in a debate to discuss the topic. 

Approaching the box, the minister simply replied: “The right honourable lady cannot expect me to speak in favour of abortifacients.” 

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