The MP from North-East Somerset, who has six children, told Good Morning Britain that he was opposed to women having abortion in any circumstance - including in cases of rape or incest.
Rees-Mogg has gone from a fringe figure who was famous for bringing his nanny on the campaign trail, to a leading Brexiteer who, until his comments this morning, was the second-favourite with bookmakers to replace Theresa May.
A poll of Conservative members for activist website “ConservativeHome” found yesterday that Jacob Rees-Mogg is the favourite among grassroots members to be the next party leader.
Asked if he was opposed to abortion in any circumstance he said: “Yes I am. I’m afraid so. Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception and I think it is wrong.”
He did counsel that a woman who had been raped would still have a right to abortion even if he was Prime Minister and he said he would not try to stop her “because that wouldn’t be the law of the land”.
But he clarified: “My personal opinion is that life begins at the point of conception and abortion is morally indefensible.”
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) said Mr Rees-Mogg’s views were “wildly at odds” with public opinion.
BPAS’s head of policy research, Katherine O’Brien, said: “We are a pro-choice country, we have a pro-choice Parliament.”
Mr Rees-Mogg also said that he adhered to the Catholic Church’s teachings on same-sex marriage.