Former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg launched an archaic attack on abortion rights in the UK during a Westminster Hall address.
The MP for North East Somerset said it was “wrong” for the state to allow abortion, comparing it to a “cult of death”.
He also refused to agree that the right to termination of pregnancy should be protected even in cases of rape or incest.
MPs and campaigners reacted with horror to his remarks – calling them “dangerous” and “grotesque”.
Speaking during debate about a petition for abortion to be included in the government’s planned Bill of Rights, Rees-Mogg said the number of abortions was a “modern tragedy”.
Asked by Labour’s Stella Creasy if he supported the right of women to choose to an abortion if they were a victim of rape or incest, the Tory MP said: “I think the destruction of life is wrong.”
“I do not believe that we should say that a new life should be destroyed. I do not believe that that is the right of the state,” said the former business secretary.
Rees-Mogg added: “This is about destroying life. This is the cult of death. It is the great tragedy of abortion, and it is considered normal. The extraordinarily high number of babies that are destroyed is something that should sadden us all to the depths of our souls.”
Creasy later said his views showed why abortion rights had to be better protected in UK law. “Women deserve equal rights. Whoever is in government,” the senior backbencher tweeted.
“If you think we don’t need to codify in law that women have a human right to choose to have an abortion, Jacob Rees-Mogg just argued against women who are victims of rape or incest having a right to have one,” the MP added.