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James O'Brien On Jacob Rees Mogg's Abortion Comments And Why Public Outrage Is Hypocritical

JRM's opinions 'would fit very, very well in Pakistan'.

07/09/2017 10:22 | Updated 07 September 2017

James O’Brien has highlighted several hypocrisies around the public reaction to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s anti-abortion stance, comparing his views to radical Islam and society’s ability to care about unborn lives unless “they happen to be on a boat in the Med”.

The Tory MP for North Somerset, who is a practising Catholic, was widely condemned - by the public and Labour MPs - on Wednesday after saying he was completely opposed to abortion, even in the case of rape.

During an interview on Good Morning Britain (GMB), Rees-Mogg also said he was against gay marriage and dodged questions on whether gay sex was a sin.

LBC host O’Brien began his critique of the controversy by saying that Rees-Mogg’s opinions “puts him on the same page as an awful lot of imams, the lunatic fringe of Islam”.

O’Brien crowed: “I am probably the only person in the British media to make that connection.” 

The link was later seized upon by English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson who has spent much of the last decade challenging Islam.

Other commentators were less convinced of the comparison O’Brien made. 

The link also led to a lengthily Twitter thread on whether London Mayor Sadiq Khan would be pressed by the media about his views on abortion and gay marriage and if his responses would inspire as much outrage. 

Khan has repeatedly expressed his views on both subjects.

And for anyone who hadn’t heard them before, he repeated them on LBC on Thursday: He supports gay marriage and the right of women to have an abortion. 

O’Brien, on Wednesday, went on to say that Rees-Mogg’s opinions “would fit very, very well in Pakistan”, where, he explained, if your daughter is raped the parents can forgive the rapist which gives her “no recourse to the law”.

“The parents can do the forgiving. I kid you not,” he said. 

O’Brien continued: “Jacob Rees-Mogg subscribes to a very similar school of thought, but people who think they despise Pakistani morale hypocrisy will be cheering Jacob Rees-Mogg to the rafters. 

“And I would cautiously suggest that people who suddenly claim compassion and care for unborn lives are usually, precisely the same people who rush and race to display callousness and cruelty to born lives who happen to be on a boat crossing the Mediterranean. Weird that.”

Commenters also questioned O’Brien’s logic in linking Rees-Mogg’s abortion comments to the Mediterranean, given he had not mentioned the migrant crisis during his interview. 

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