We Shouldn't Be Shocked By Jacob Rees-Mogg's Opinion On Abortion, Nor Should We Take It Lightly

Let's believe the Brexit backbencher when he repeatedly tells us who he is

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On Good Morning Britain today, Jacob Rees-Mogg was being touted as the Conservative favourite to follow in Theresa May's footsteps. He was being interviewed by the dynamic duo that is Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan.

Known to most as the posh rent-a-mouth, Rees-Mogg shocked the nation by calling abortion 'morally indefensible', even in the case of rape and incest.

He also said:

I'm a Catholic, I take the teaching of the Catholic church seriously. Marriage is a sacrament and the view of what marriage is is taken by the church, not parliament. I support the teaching of the Catholic church. The marriage issue is the important thing, this is not how people arrange their lives.

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Morgan asked his questions in the sensationalist manner that is typical of Morgan's style, not letting Rees-Mogg explain himself fully.

The MP's statement was met with surprise, but also the age-old debate of private opinion versus public figure was sparked once more.

The UK, like many countries, aims for religious freedom with a separation of state and church.

Rees-Mogg's opinion on abortion stems from his Catholicism, which teaches that 'life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception'.

Jacob Rees-Mogg leaving Margaret Thatcher's funeral

As a father and a man of faith Rees-Mogg is more than entitled to this opinion. Similarly, the US' ex-Vice President Joe Biden was a devout Catholic who did not personally condone abortion, yet believed in women's right to choose as safe healthcare.

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As Rees-Mogg answered in his infuriating interview with Morgan, if he became Prime Minister every woman would still 'have a right under UK law…that law is not going to change.'

As it stands, it is the 'law of the land' that women have a right to free, safe abortions.

However, what we also know is that taking these issues for granted is not an option any longer, and in this current climate, our personal freedoms are up for grabs.

What we need to know is whether Rees-Mogg has historically separated his personal, religious views to his political ones. This is where it becomes more problematic.

If you take a cursory glance over the Conservative backbencher's voting history you will see he consistently voted against same-sex marriage.

Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg

According to his voting record he, 'Consistently voted against equal gay rights' and 'Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.'

Holly Baxter reports for the Independent that Rees-Mogg has also bragged that, 'he has never once bothered to change a single nappy or do a school run despite having six children' and had dinner parties where he 'kept the tradition of women leaving the room while men had brandy'.

Being personally against abortion for yourself for religious beliefs is evidently not the issue here. Instead, it's his archaic views of gender roles that are out-of-step with modern society. And whilst he is more than welcome to think those things himself, he is in a position of power, being able to make decisions for us in parliament.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) told the Guardian, 'Rees-Mogg's "extreme" views were "wildly at odds" with public opinion.'

This is highlighted by this year's 'decriminalisation of abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy' and 'MPs' support for extending abortion access for women resident in Northern Ireland.'

Katherine O'Brien, head of policy research at BPAS, said:

We are a pro-choice country, we have a pro-choice parliament. Rees-Mogg's stance on abortion is quite simply extreme, and extremely out Every politician is entitled to hold their own opinion on abortion. But what matters is whether they would let their own personal convictions stand in the way of women's ability to act on their own.

As much as Rees-Mogg has a right to air his views, we also have a right to publicly disagree with him.

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