Jacob Rees-Mogg has courted controversy after he compared the morning after pill to abortion.
The Commons leader described the emergency contraceptive as an “abortifacient”, a term describing drugs which induce abortion, after Boots announced it had cut the price of the drug to £10.
He was asked for a debate on “proper funding and accessibility for women’s contraception and health services” after Labour MP Dame Diana Johnson highlighted the “sexist surcharge” of high prices some pharmacies charge for the morning after pill.
Dame Diana said: “The reason I am raising this is because of cuts to public health budgets and the fragmentation of the NHS, it has meant it is more difficult for women to access contraception advice.
“I wonder if we could have a debate about the report that the All-Party Parliamentary Group on sexual and reproductive health produced with clear recommendations about proper funding and accessibility for women’s contraception and health services?”
Mr Rees-Mogg, a practising Catholic who has previously expressed a strong anti-abortion viewpoint, replied: “The right honourable lady cannot expect me to speak in favour of abortifacients.”
However, the morning after pill is considered to be a contraceptive medicine because it prevents pregnancy from beginning, rather than a method of aborting a pregnancy, a point that Sophia Smith Galer was at pains to point out below:
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