Today Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said he is against gay marriage and ‘completely opposed’ to abortion in any circumstances, including in cases of rape or incest. Rees-Mogg is unwilling to explain how his personal views affect his position as a politician who votes and decides laws on behalf of us in Parliament.
Whilst Rees-Mogg is entitled to his opinion, it should be noted that his view is radical and out-of-touch. Abortion is legal and very common – 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime, and the vast majority of those polled in this country support a woman’s right to choose. Rees-Mogg is simply out of step with public opinion and with the lived reality of many people.
Furthermore, childbirth puts women at risk – much more than having an abortion. The legislation was brought in in 1967 in response to high maternal mortality rates. Mogg is saying that he wants to go back to a time where women died because they couldn’t get access to healthcare. We only have to look at the Savita Halappanavar case in Ireland in 2012 where a woman died because the doctor’s perception of the law prevented them saving her life and the nurse said ‘you can’t have an abortion, this is a Catholic country’.
Kerry Abel, Abortion Chair, Said ‘His absolutist statements will strike many as extremely cruel as we can see from the reactions of the GMB presenters.’
Sarah Cartin of Christians for Choice said: ‘Rees-Mogg is using the cloak of Catholic doctrine for political gain to criticise women for accessing legal and safe abortion. As a Catholic woman, I believe that this religious shaming should not be part of my faith.’
Abortion Rights campaigns to defend and extend women’s rights and access to safe, legal abortion. We oppose any and all attacks on the 1967 Abortion Act. 2017 marked the 50 anniversary of Abortion Act which saw the introduction legal abortion 50 years on women’s rights should be advanced not driven back.
It is often the case that people philosophise over abortion but we look from the point of view of the pregnant woman – it is only the person in that situation be it rape, or any circumstance where she does not want to be pregnant, who can decide.
Notes to editors:
- Our media team would be happy to provide further quotes, press images, and information. Media contact Kerry Abel (07979 535 242)
- Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media.
- Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales and Scotland.
- One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
- Abortion Rights has a Christians for Choice group find more here
- 70% of people support a woman’s right to choose in Britain. However there is a vocal minority that continually seeks to introduce amendments to legislation in Parliament that would undermine women’s bodily autonomy and existing law and practice.
- 61% of Roman Catholics support abortion on request.
- A YouGov poll for the ‘Westminster Faith Debates‘ and reported in The Guardian found the percentage of the population wanting a ban has fallen from 12% in 2005 to 7%.
- Watch Jacob Rees-Mogg Good Morning Britain interview here