WORK and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey must finally “do the right thing” after a pregnancy service said welfare cuts are influencing women’s decisions on abortion, a Scots MP says.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPS) said the two-child limit and rape clause are “important in the decision-making around whether or not to continue the pregnancy” for many of the women it works with.

More than half of those it surveyed who had a termination during the pandemic – who were aware of the two-child cap and likely to be affected by it – cited the policy.

It means no child benefit support is given for third or subsequent children in a household, unless their mother declares them as the result of a sex crime.

Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss, who first uncovered the welfare change in the 2015 Budget by then-Chancellor George Osborne, has challenged Coffey to end the “wicked policy” for good in a letter calling for talks.

She told Coffey: “It is beyond belief that the UK Government remains so obstinately devoted to such a pernicious policy, one that – in light of this most recent evidence – is unarguably playing a real and significant part in women’s decisions to terminate pregnancies”.

Thewliss said: “My thoughts on this wicked policy have not changed over time – the two-child limit, and the rape clause which stands part of it, are cruel and callous and must be scrapped immediately.

“Draconian Tory policies such as the two-child limit and rape clause are causing irrefutable pain and suffering for women and families.”