France to offer free contraception benefits to women under 26
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of spreading a "harmful clinical falsehood" about the morning after pill.
Commons leader Rees-Mogg described the emergency contraceptive as an “abortifacient”, a term describing drugs that induce abortion.
But his remarks were criticised as a “harmful clinical falsehood”, with an MP calling for Mr Rees-Mogg to correct the record.
It follows Boots cutting the price of the morning after pill from £15.99 to £10.99.
Yesterday, the North East Somerset MP 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.
But the morning after pill is considered to be a contraceptive medicine because it prevents conception, rather than a method of aborting a pregnancy.
People took to Twitter to express their disappointment in the Commons leader:
tell me you had bad sex education without telling me you had bad sex educationhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/02/03/jacob-rees-mogg-compares-morning-pill-abortion-boots-cuts-price/\u00a0\u2026
— SophiA Smith Galer (@SophiA Smith Galer)
*big sigh* the morning after pill does not remove a pregnancy, it blocks the release of an egg. The fact this man is allowed to legislate women\u2019s bodies when he peddles such dangerous and damaging falsehoods is horrifyinghttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/02/03/jacob-rees-mogg-compares-morning-pill-abortion-boots-cuts-price/\u00a0\u2026
This matters. Jacob Rees-Mogg is entitled to his view. He talks often of being Catholic: the Catholic Church prohibits birth control. He can oppose the morning after pill on those grounds.\n\nBut it's medically wrong to call it an "abortifacient". And I think he probably knows thathttps://twitter.com/rhiannonlucyc/status/1489256754076479493\u00a0\u2026
But it is absolutely nothing like an abortion. The morning after pill stops ovulation, meaning an egg isn\u2019t there to be fertilised by sperm. It just temporarily stops a process, it doesn\u2019t remove anything. \n\nThis man has power to legislate on uteruses.https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/02/03/jacob-rees-mogg-compares-morning-pill-abortion-boots-cuts-price/\u00a0\u2026
Give me strength. Like many anti-choice politicians, he is proving he knows very little about women\u2019s bodies or how they work, so why should he be allowed to legislate them?https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jacob-rees-mogg-morning-after-pills-abortion-b2006978.html\u00a0\u2026
— Rhiannon L Cosslett (@Rhiannon L Cosslett)
Following his comment, Dame Diana asked for him to correct the record on his claims.
She told MPs: “The World Health Organisation say that emergency contraception pills prevent pregnancy by prevention or delaying of ovulation and they do not induce an abortion.
“Emergency contraception cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo.
“How can I ensure that the Leader of the House corrects the record, as what he said I think is a harmful clinical falsehood and I am sure does not represent the Government’s policy?”
Deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing acknowledged that there is a “factual inaccuracy” in Rees-Mogg’s claim, and added that “the facts ought to be straight”.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.