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Anti-abortion politician admits profiting off abortion pills

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who cites his Catholic beliefs for his anti-choice views, makes staggering amounts of money from a drug used widely for abortion

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who says he’s staunchly anti-choice and cites his faith as a reasoning for denying women rights over their own bodies, has admitted that his investment firm profits from pills used widely for abortion in Indonesia.

Somerset Capital Management, which according to Metro sees Mogg earn approximately £500 an hour from the firm, holds £5m investment in Indonesian company Kalbe Farma. Their factory produces, markets and distributes Invitec (misoprostol), a pill used to treat stomach ulcers, though also widely used in the country to trigger terminations.

Around 2 million illegal abortions happen in the south-east Asia region every year, many in clinics that use the drug.

Rees-Mogg went on morning TV show Good Morning Britain at the beginning of September, where he defended his anti-choice views, asserting that “life begins at the point of conception”, and that abortion was “morally indefensible”.

“Life is sacrosanct,” he said, stating that he was also against equal marriage because of his Catholic faith.

The north east Somerset MP, who co-founded the firm in 2007 and is tipped to take over from prime minister Theresa May, told the Mirror that he would not rescind his investment, but said: “It would be wrong to pretend that I like it but the world is not always what you want it to be.”

“Kalbe Farma obeys Indonesian law so it’s a legitimate investment and there’s no hypocrisy. The law in Indonesia would satisfy the Vatican.”

He said he accepted that he profited “in a very roundabout way”.

“I don’t manage the funds and haven’t done so since I became an MP. But the funds have to be run in accordance with the requirements of the investors and not according to my religious beliefs,” he continued.

Misoprostol is a World Health Organisation-certified drug for abortion. Women on Waves recommend it’s taken for pregnant people up to 12 weeks. The  drug is found in pharmacies under the names Chromalux, Citrosol, Cytostol, Gastrul, Invitec and Noprostol.

At the weekend, thousands of people marched in London and Dublin for free, safe, legal abortion access for women across Ireland. Last month, it was announced that the government would provide free abortion access to people from Northern Ireland in mainland clinics.