A TORY MP has come under fire for saying using the rape clause is a "life choice" for women.

William Quince was blasted by Kirsten Oswald, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, at a debate on the findings of the Social Justice and Fairness Commission’s report.

The debate included discussion of the the Tory government’s “two-child limit” for welfare payments. The rule, which came into force in April 2017 and restricts Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit to the first two children in a family, with a few exceptions including the controversial "rape clause".

Quince said he would have to "agree to disagree" with Oswald on the issue, adding: "It's a policy based on the principle of fairness and even if you park the fact it would cost about £2 billion a year to reverse the policy decision it is one based on fairness. Those in receipt of benefits should have to make the same life choices about whether people can..."

Quince was then interrupted by Oswald who said: "I think it's important for me to put onto the record for the minister that using the phrase 'life choices' when we are talking about things like the rape clause is unhelpful.

"I know the minister is thoughtful about the matters around the area of social security but I feel he is trying to defend the indefensible. I, again, come back to how it could be just."

Quince claimed Oswald was "conflating two issues", saying: "She's conflating the two child policy in and of itself, which is a matter of fairness. It's about putting those who are in receipt of benefits in the same position as those who are not in receipt of benefits about facing life choices."

The Social Justice and Fairness Commission (SJFC) was established by Nicola Sturgeon in September 2019 and comprises both SNP members and independent contributors and experts. It was created to develop how an independent Scotland could “tackle poverty and create a fairer society”.

READ MORE: Tories' two-child benefit limits and rape clause 'legal', Supreme Court rules

The report argues for a pilot of Universal Basic Income and the Minimum Income Guarantee as a way of reducing poverty in Scotland.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Oswald said: “The Social Justice and Fairness Commission has delivered a blueprint for how we can achieve a more socially just Scotland, where we can make policy decisions based on lived experiences that can help us build a fairer and happier society.

“The findings of the report are based on the central principle that the function of any government is to make life better for everyone and ensure no one is left behind. That is exactly what we can and should do with the full powers of independence, and this report lays bare how much more Scotland could do as an independent country inside the EU.

“Right now and for years, the Westminster government has been an obstacle to us achieving a fairer society in Scotland by imposing cruel and damaging austerity measures and undermining devolution. Westminster doesn’t work for Scotland - indeed, we are increasingly vulnerable while it holds full employment and fiscal powers and the majority of welfare powers.

“The proposals we set out in the report are only options, but a starting point to get to where we want to be. Whether all or any of them are taken forward are political decisions and choices for the people and future governments in Scotland to make, and only them. “We can see where the Westminster government’s priorities lie and see they are on a different path to Scotland. Having a choice over our future is vital to Scotland’s recovery.”