“The Right Hon. Lady cannot expect me to speak in favour of abortifacients”

Jacob Rees-Mogg, House of Commons

January 2, 2022

Facts

Rees-Mogg referred to the morning-after pill as an "abortifacient". This is an incorrect statement.

An abortifacient is a substance which induces an abortion.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service states that the morning-after pill "prevents pregnancy, but cannot end.. nor damage an existing pregnancy". They conclude by saying "emergency contraception is not, as Mr Rees-Mogg asserted, an abortifacient’

Verdict

The morning-after pill cannot be an abortifacient, because it does not induce an abortion. It is a form of contraception which prevents pregnancy by delaying ovulation and therefore fertilisation. It is not an abortifacient as Rees-Mogg claimed.

According to the ministerial code, “It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.  Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

We approached Jacob Rees-Mogg's office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.

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